Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Holy Exclamation...

I love exclamation points! I use them more often than I should. Of all of the punctuation marks, they are the most exciting. I love questions, but there is something about being able to emphatically declare, to exclaim, and to proclaim with conviction what one knows to be true. Admittedly, as my preaching professor at Drew aptly noticed, I am not the most excitable preacher. (Hello, My name is Reverend Donna and I do not whoop!) However, in my contemplative kind of way, I manage to insert my exclamation points. Exclamation points do not have to scream, but they do need to drive home the point.

Case in point. One of my favorite hymns is Holy, Holy, Holy. It speaks of the holiness of God--the perfection and purity--that is the essence of God's nature. It speaks of the majesty of God and human (and angelic) proclamations of praise. As I understand it, utterances of praise are our proper response to God's majesty. God is so Loving, so Merciful, so Good, so Mighty, so Holy, and so Beautiful that all we can do is praise. And praise, my friends, is marked by exclamation points.  So, with a heart of worship and shouts of adoration and exclamation points to boot, our hymn of the morning is Holy, Holy, Holy:

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Words: Reginald Heber
Music: John B. Dykes

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