In Regards to Lost Reverence
Written from the National Express Coach Station in London, England
Yesterday, we attended the Evensong Service at Westminster Abbey in London.
Though we passed armed guards and wrought-iron gates, we walked in silence as we entered into the sanctuary. The only word ringing in my head was reverence. Though we were directed by tired, grumpy priests to sit in cold, metal folding chairs, we sat in silence as the masses filed in, one by one. The only word ringing in my head was reverence. Though we knelt on cold, hard concrete with our feet uncomfortably twisted beneath us, we knelt in silence as we listened to the angelic choral music fill the void. The only word ringing in my head was reverence.
Perhaps, it was the fact that we were in one of the most revered sanctuaries in the world. Perhaps, it was simply the sunlight spilling in from the towering windows and reflecting off of the gold-plated figurines. However, I think that it was the all-to-obvious fact that we have lost - abandoned, rather - a great deal of reverence.
After the service, as we walked through St. James Park, I found that I couldn't even define reverence. But the feeling... I knew what it was. The priest prayed and the entire time I was thinking of how much it reminded me of the prayers of the tax collector... and how much my own reminded me of the Pharisee. Humility set the tone for his intercessions. How irreverently I pray.
Another priest read passages from the Old and New Testaments concerning Moses. He read of God's glory radiating from the face of Moses as he descended the mountain in Exodus and how he placed a veil over his face to shield it from the people. He read out of 2 Corinthians of our unveiled transformation from one degree of glory to another. He read... and that was it. No translation, no interpretation, no explanation. Simply Scripture. And I was reminded, then, of the power of the Word of God, isolated from man's twisted tongues. How irreverent are we who diligently memorize and quote Piper and Lewis as though their words were from the mouth of the Most High.
The hour - all-together too short a time - was one of the most "Spiritual" experiences that I have had in a while. Not because it had a passion-filled worship service or interesting preaching - it had neither. But it set a tone for our hearts that gave them a reason to worship. Bound by our wonder and awe. Silenced in our reverence.