"Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand; Ponder nothing earthly minded, for with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth, our full homage to demand."
- Verse 1 from Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (4th cent. text)
This familiar tune, which you'll hear this Sunday both online and at our Drive-In Worship service during the anthem, always makes me feel funny. I don't mean in a bad way, but rather, it leads my mind to ponder the more abstract, mysterious qualities of God. Especially now during the pandemic with so much uncertainty, I tend to seek logical answers to all the difficult questions I face. Perhaps it's because we simply don't yet know when all of this will be over, and that kind of constant stress makes everything difficult!
But I think there is real value in pondering on the mysteries of our God. Do we take enough time to keep silent and stand in fear, trembling before God? Do we ponder things beyond the earth, even as fear and doubt surround us? Do we realize that the Word Made Flesh demands our full homage, our loving God lowering Himself to our level, yet coming full of blessings? Do we stop the painful and tumultuous paths our minds lead us down during these dark days to realize that there is more going on here than we can ever see, feel, or know?
God is here. He has always been here. Even now, the Holy Spirit twists and turns through my life and yours, taking our actions and circumstances and interweaving our very lives with other people to eventually bring about the plans that God has for us, but instead of sitting back and pondering in this way, we so often jump to action, responding with heated and sometimes hurtful words, not realizing what we are doing or where God is leading us. We so often stand firm in our own "truths", spouting judgement and anger at others who don't agree.
But if you just take a moment to step back from everything, and let your mind wander into the deep mysteries of God, you might find a kind of paradoxical and profound peace. Despite pondering on something that we can never understand, there is a sense of comfort in the strange, illogical wonder of God. Give your mind a chance to slip into the abstract yet all-encompassing love of God and find rest for your soul.