By Kristen Gunn

A Reading from Ecclesiasticus 43:23-33

23 By his plan he stilled the deep
and planted islands in it.
24 Those who sail the sea tell of its dangers,
and we marvel at what we hear.
25 In it are strange and marvelous creatures,
all kinds of living things, and mighty sea monsters.
26 Because of him each of his messengers succeeds,
and by his word all things hold together.

27 We could say more but could never say enough;
let the final word be: “He is the all.”
28 Where can we find the strength to praise him?
For he is greater than all his works.
29 Awesome is the Lord and very great,
and marvelous is his power.
30 Glorify the Lord and exalt him as much as you can,
for he surpasses even that.
When you exalt him, summon all your strength,
and do not grow weary, for you cannot praise him enough.
31 Who has seen him and can describe him?
Or who can extol him as he is?
32 Many things greater than these lie hidden,
for I have seen but few of his works.
33 For the Lord has made all things,
and to the godly he has given wisdom.


“Where can we find the strength to praise him?” In the Son.

“Who has seen him and can describe him?” The Son has.

“Or who can extol him as he is?” The Son, of one being with the Father, can.

The only worship of the Father that could possibly suffice, given who he is, is that offered by the Son who shares his substance and looks — as a risen human being — on the One on whom we could not look. The miracle of life in the Church is that we, baptized into the Son and sharing in his death, resurrection, and ascension, share mystically in that same worship he and only he can offer the Father.

This is why we say that Christ is our life (Col. 3:4): created for the worship of God, we do what we were made to do only when he — having taken our nature upon himself in the Incarnation so as to heal it — offers himself (and us, in him) to the Father. This is the perfect sacrifice of love, offered on our behalf. This is the entire fulfillment of the law to love God and neighbor, carried out to set us free to love. And it is also the entire logic of Christian (and the fulfillment of Israelite) worship: God became a human being, offering worship only God as a human could offer, that we might at last fulfill his purpose for us, to share in the life and love of the Trinity.

Kristen Gunn is a lay leader and has an M.T.S. from Nashotah House Theological Seminary. In her free time she enjoys learning Latin and kayaking as much as possible.

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