If God is a tiny fraction of what we say and sing He is, then we need to believe that what exists is worthy of Him.
Training a vital and massive young bull elephant for the job of hauling a little Tinker Toy around would be ludicrous. For Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli to spend their careers singing “You’re nothing but a hound-dog” or Maria Callas spending hers singing “How much is that doggy in the window” would be obscene.
Debating nothing that cosmologists or quantum physicists claim, this universe is simply mesmerizing in size and complexity; it’s beyond finding out and it is God who willed it into existence and He is the one that maintains it and does it by nothing more than His wishing to do so (Acts 17:28; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17). Physical matter has no physical basis—its very existence is a divine choice, His wishing it to be. If ever the scientists could finally “splice” the most elementary of elementary particles they would find nothing physical to splice—there is nothing but the whisper of God and things are and continue to be.
What if it turns out to be true that there are millions of universes? So be it! What if it turns out that there are other kinds of beings in these universes? No matter! They would be part of the “all things” that hold together in the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:17; John 1:1-2).
So say it grander, shout it’s more wondrous than we can begin to grasp or more mysterious than we can begin to fathom—say all that and all we’re doing is saying things about God whose wish is the only reason it exists.
So let the chosen ones be God’s chosen and remind them that they are chosen for the blessing of the world! Let them sing glory, preach wonder, pray joy, hope with a living hope that is worthy of a living God. Let us live courageously, die gallantly, live now and then mesmerized and mystified and still be content without answers; let us renounce and denounce Sin’s presence in the world and proclaim that what we could not/did not do for ourselves but what God did in sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful humanity to deal with Sin. Let us sing and say that in doing it He condemned Sin that made itself lord in humanity’s heart. Let our Story be that it is divine grace, holy generosity that nullifies Sin as a destructive power that alienates the human family from God. God’s work in Jesus Christ is COSMIC and any sinner can be saved (1 John 2:2; John 3:16-17). It is Sin in principle that God’s holy grace nullifies and not only an infinite number of individual acts of sin.
And what God are we singing and speaking of? The Biblical God, of course; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Moses and Israel; the God who finally and fully revealed Himself in and as a man, Jesus of Nazareth, the man who once chose died, is now resurrected and glorified to die no more. (Romans 6:9).
He didn’t come in the image of a hovering, majestic sun or a gigantic, awe-inspiring creature whose glory would blind us. He came as one of us and remains one of us; one who said of Himself, “I am a man and you want to kill me.” (John 8.40; Isaiah 53:2-3) So when the chosen ones sing and pray and read and proclaim His glory let them remember to sing of His glory in relation to humans!
“What is man that you are mindful of him or the child of a human that you care about him?” The glory and majesty of God, is the ground of his remarks, of course, but he wonders what kind of creatures humans must be that God, whose majesty towers above the glory of the heavens, gives humans dominion over the world (Psalm 8:1-7).
Who are these creatures that such a God has willed to be His companions? Who are these women without whom there can be no men? (1 Corinthians 11:11-12) Who are these men that plan and build roads and structures that enable cities and countries to function? Who are these mothers and grandmothers that shape and inspire entire generations in uprightness, love and patience? Who are these men and women who lay down their lives in service to teach children to enable them to be employable and live in honor and well-being?
Where in the limitless space can you find a child being loved or hear a quasar sighing over the poverty and sorrow of the oppressed? What massive black hole sings over the beauty of a wheat field or the color purple or a beautiful bird in flight? In what endless dark corridor of space will you find a door that opens into a hospital ward where devoted nurses and doctors care for the anguished and hurting and frightened? What astonishing spiral galaxy shouts encouragement to gallant little humans that defy the odds or what cluster of speeding meteors stops, thrilled at the sight of young honorable lovers saying “no” to perversion, to crass selfishness or any other element that would rip them from one another’s care for each other? In this still expanding universe, where would you come across people laughing themselves silly over harmless pleasures or raging and plotting against the abuse and heartless oppression of the vulnerable?
Because there is cruelty, savagery, hatred, corruption in the world, because the gifts of God have been abused and squandered should we sneer at the brilliance of an Evelyn Fox Keller or as Aristotle? Because there have been and are Hitlers and Stalins and Papa Docs should we deny the human warmth and costly commitment of a Lord Shaftesbury or the astounding selflessness of a Toyohiko Kagawa?
Let the chosen sing hymns and songs worthy of God, pray prayers worthy of the chosen of God, proclaim truths revealed by God and announce a judgment of the world that is worthy of a Holy Loving God who has revealed Himself in the person and work of Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31). There’s a new world coming when all that is evil will be totally eliminated and warm righteousness will prevail. Envy, hatred, cruelty, killing will be gone. Happy and joyful holiness, adventure and life that is brimful of life will be the fabric of that world.
In 1963 Leslie Bricusse and Cyril Ornadel produced a song for a stage-play called PICKWICK. The song: If I ruled the World won the Ivor Novello prize for lyrics and music. It became a top 20 hit in the U.K. sung by Harry Secombe. Sam Weller talks Dickens’ character Mr. Pickwick into acting as a politician. But up before the people he answers all the political questions wrongly. Still he insists with a sincere heart that he’d want a better world for everyone and sings:
If ruled the world every day would be the first day of spring.
Every heart would have a new song to sing
And we’d sing of the joy that each morning would bring.
If I ruled the world every man would be as free as a bird
Every voice would be a voice to be heard
Take my word,
We would treasure each day that occurred.
My world would be a wonderful place
Where we’d dream such wonderful dreams
My world would wear a smile on its face
Like the man in the moon has when the moon beams
If I ruled the world every man would say the world was his friend
There’d be happiness that no man would end
No my friend, not if I ruled the world
Every head would be held up high
There’d be sunshine in everyone’s sky
If the day ever dawned when I ruled…the world.
This is the song the chosen ones should sing to the oppressed of all the world of all the ages. “This is not how it ends. This is not as good as it gets. The raping ends, the pillaging ends, the heartless cruelty ends, the starvation ends; the humiliation, the injustice, the beatings, the lies and the impenitent tyrants—they all end and you will rise to meet a God with a face like your face and love and fairness will begin and never end.
(O thou God of love and faithfulness who keeps promises, promises you have signed in blood as one who has entered our world to share our pain and loss. We lift our hearts and minds to you, joining our weak but sincere hearts with yours on behalf of the plundered poor and those who through no fault of their own do not know your Son for they have not been told and so cannot joyfully look to Him in trust. Yes, and for ourselves who are your chosen that you might continue to make things new within us also that we might make your glory known to those within our reach and to the ends of the earth. This we pray in Jesus Christ that you might receive from us all that which you so richly deserve—the everlasting happy love of sons and daughters.)