Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Over the past few years, as I have methodically read through the New Testament and looked for personal applications, I have become more and more secure in my belief that this kingdom of God is not of the 3-D world we can see and touch but it is in that “other” reality – that place within, that place outside our senses, that place of Holy Spirit, that place that defies logic and that place which was opened to humankind through the mediation of the Christ/Messiah whose act of sacrifice tore the veil asunder [Matthew 27:51].
I try to imagine the power and glory that was on Mount Sinai, where the Israelites fled from Egypt and stood to hear from their God, what they should do next. And from there, they wandered the desert, carrying the “glory of God” with them in the Ark of the Covenant. And finally, with King David and his son, Solomon, the great temple was built in Jerusalem and the ark was given a final resting place in the Holy of Holies [II Chronicles 7:1], where only the high priest could enter once a year. This is all symbolic and intentional.
Now, the Messiah comes, the veil is torn, the ark is opened and all of this glory is placed within the kingdom and we are invited to participate in it through the Christ.
Is this not worthy of awe and reverence?
Despite all the horrendous things the Church may have done throughout the centuries, the cathedrals they built to immortalize our King make sense. I know they were not built in a righteous way, the poor were taxed and unholy deals were made with the rich, but there is a breath of God that remains in these places even today.
Whenever I visit a city that has a cathedral, I want to go. I want to walk through and sit and be silent there. I am awed in these places.
Of course, there are nature locations that give the same feeling: water falls, canyons, hot springs, lakes, oceans, forests, mountains… just to name a few.
As much as I enjoy contemporary Christian worship, there is a part of me that misses the wonder, the intense quiet, and the Holy Presence that permeates high church worship.
If I could describe that kingdom within me (which is impossible) but perhaps, just a color, a shape, a smell, a sound: what would it be? I don’t know. I just don’t really know.