Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
In the Gates

Worship and Imagination

The Second Commandment

No images

 

The Commandment

God is holy, and He calls His people to be holy by worshiping and serving Him only. He will allow no admixture of pagan practices in the worship and service of His Name, nothing that reduces His immensity, restricts His sovereignty, compromises His holiness, obscures His uniqueness, or otherwise profanes His Name.

Exodus 20.4-6

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Deuteronomy 5.8-10

“‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.’”

1 Corinthians 10.14; 1 John 5.21

The worship of God invites the use of a sanctified imagination, one that is shaped, not by the creations of finite men, but of the descriptions of God and the forms used to appeal to our affections which are provided in His Word.

Much of the great hymnody of the Christian tradition captures these Biblical referents extremely well, combining words and music in ways designed to lift us up to the very presence of the majesty of God. On the other hand, it is my experience that much contemporary worship music wants to bring God down to our frame of reference, forcing our worship into forms and expressions that we hear each day in the popular culture with which we are surrounded, and depending on lyrics which, while simple and true, frequently lack the power to life us beyond our own frame of reference into the heavenly courts.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.MyParuchia.com and click on our Book Store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.

No items in cart