As a boy in Sunday school, I used to sing a song written by Horatio Palmer that I suspect would be regarded as hopelessly outmoded today:
Shun evil companions,
Bad language disdain,
God’s name hold in reverence,
Nor take it in vain.
But those words are as relevant now as they were then, especially because reverence for God’s name and holy things seems to be out of style—even among many Christians.
For example, an article in a magazine for those in children’s ministries suggested that churches could hold an Easter carnival with game booths decorated with streamers and Bible verses. The games included: “Toss-a-Cross”—throw six cross-shaped bean bags. “Cupcake Walk”—land on the right Easter symbol, such as a crown of thorns. “Face Painting”—perhaps with drops of blood? And of course a “Donkey Ride.”
There were more suggestions, to be sure, but why multiply examples of gross irreverence?
Even while deploring such sacrilege, we need to double-check our own attitudes and practices. Whether alone or in church, do we find ourselves, as hymnwriter Charles Wesley stated, “lost in wonder, love, and praise” as we meditate on God’s greatness and grace? (Ps. 99:1-3,9).
If adoring worship is the chief occupation of angels and saints in heaven, we had better regard our present life as an apprenticeship in adoration.
Those who Praise God on earth will feel at home in heaven.