The Numinous Aspect of Biblical Worship

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

Worship may serve many purposes in the life of the worshiper. It may be spiritual development, the cultivation of Christian graces, and the deepening of understanding. It may be an emotional release or catharsis, the healing of hurts through the touch of the divine. It may be a communion with God, the mystic identification with the source of life. It may be thanksgiving to God for benefits received and rejoicing in his presence. It may be an individual act of commitment to serve God or the...

The Sense of Awe In Worship

When the Lord God is encountered in glory and majesty-high, holy, and lifted up-the worshiper is filled with a sense of awe and experiences an abandonment of self in the divine presence.

The Numinous as the Holy One

The worshiper encounters God as the Holy One, who is beyond rational comprehension. There is a quality to this encounter that transcends revelation in terms of language, symbols, or concepts.

Images Associated with the Manifestation of the Holy

The awesome experience of God cannot be reduced to scientific or even to conceptual language; it can only be suggested by word pictures. In Scripture the imagery of light, fire, earthquake, and storm are often associated with the manifestation of the holy. These are characteristic biblical features of divine "theophanies," or appearances of God.

Holy Places, Holy People

Although holiness belongs to God, it may be imparted to objects, or even to people, which become the bearers of the holy.