From Theology to Worship

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

Romans 11:33

As we come to the end of the long theological section of Romans, including the often perplexing chapters 9 through 11, we are led to marvel at the mysteries of God, even though they exceed our understanding. God’s riches (of grace, mercy, and love) and wisdom and knowledge are “great.” More literally, the original language proclaims that they are “deep.” This signifies both their great expanse and the fact that we can’t see to the bottom. No matter how much we might seek to understand God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge, we’ll never fully plumb their depths.

This does not mean we shouldn’t try to understand God, however. He has given us the capacity to think. He has revealed himself to us in many ways, most of all in the Word incarnate and the Word inscribed. Yet the more we understand God, the more we realize just how much he is beyond our understanding. Thus theology, rightly engaged, does not allow us to trap God in our little boxes, to diminish God by our limited conceptions. Rather, true theology leads us to worship, as we bow before the greatness of God. If you’ve ever stood on the rim of a giant canyon, you’ve experienced something like the wonder of Romans 11:33. You’re awestruck over the depth of the canyon, and realize that you’ll never be able to take in its grandeur. The more you gaze at it, the more you appreciate its details, and the more you are overwhelmed by its glory. So it is with God and his inscrutable nature.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When have you seen something in nature that was overwhelming to you? Have you ever felt this way about God? When? How, in your life, has theology led to worship?

PRAYER: O Lord, how grateful I am for your revelation. What a privilege to know you and to know about you. Yet the more I know you, the more I realize how much I do not know. The more I see you plainly, the more I recognize that I will never see you fully, at least not until that day when I see you face to face.

Help me, gracious God, to know you better. Yet preserve me from the temptation to shrink you down to the size of my theological understanding. On the contrary, may my theology lead me to worship and wonder.

All praise be to you, O God, for your unimaginable greatness and grace! In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.