I have lived behind my church for twenty-three years. I remember one summer, years ago, driving past my church. There were the police…and there were my pastor and his wife also! I immediately stopped to find out what was going on. They explained to me that the church had been vandalized.
I walked into the church, amazed! Words had been spray painted on the wall. Acid had been poured up and down the pews. Foam spray was covering the piano. It felt like anger and hate against God.
Our church people try to foster a feeling of respect. We would tell our young children, “Don’t run in the sanctuary.” We were trying to set this place aside for worship as a holy place to meet God. And in this very place that we had given such honor and respect…this place had been invaded by someone painting and destroying! My mind spun!
Later, those things done to our church were undone; things were cleaned up and replaced. We got insurance money, and because the church people did most of the work, we ended up with a far nicer church than we had before the event.
I’ve given honor and respect to things that have no value to many today. I realize that this culture is not one that feels respect about very many things.
I have older friends who are amazed when their grandchildren don’t get up to offer their seat to an older person walking in the room. They feel like we have lost some of the respect that used to be instilled in young people.
I am an American. And although I love the warmth of our culture, I want to cultivate more respect. The stories of the Bible show a different culture—one where Scripture was reverenced. Older people had a place of honor. And worship sometimes involved in kneeling low. Phrases were used like, “he fell on his face” to show honor taking place.
Sometimes it seems like the holy hush is missing from our Western lives. I want to see God high and lifted up. I want less of me and more of Him.
Holy, Holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:3