In the late 1980s Rich Mullins released an anthemic song with the following memorable lyric:
“Our God is an awesome God, he reigns from Heaven above…”
Although Mullins didn’t consider the song to be particularly well written, there’s no doubt that it has remained a mainstay in the world of Christian music. After all, what Christian doesn’t like the idea of praising an all-powerful father? We should be proud to align ourselves with the creator of the universe.
That said, “Awesome God” might not tell the whole story about Jesus.
May the record show that I have nothing against “Awesome God;” indeed, it’s one of the first songs that comes to mind when I think of the most memorable gospel and praise music. I fully agree that we serve an awesome God, capable of healing, resurrecting, and loving endlessly. However, when I study Matthew 21 and see Jesus riding a donkey instead of a chariot or Tesla, it seems inconsistent with our earthly view of power and, well, ... “awesomeness.”
An entirely different word comes to mind:
Jesus - God in the flesh - walked on our planet and didn’t demand to be treated as excellence or majesty. We see examples of this humility throughout his relatively short time on Earth: He was born in a manger, worked a low profile job, never had material wealth, spent time with unpopular people, and eventually died a criminal’s death. In 2016, we would be hard-pressed to look at a human with a similar resume and consider him or her capable of reigning over the universe. Think about the presidential candidates we support with our money and votes: We consider them capable of reigning over a country because of their accomplishments and vast political networks of high-ranking friends and supporters. These people have money and power. Can you imagine any of them riding into a debate or campaign rally on a donkey?
But that’s what God did. He wasn’t concerned with earthly power, wealth, or fame. He wasn’t interested in impressing people (though He certainly did when performing miracles). He was after our hearts. And He still is.
How much more impressive and relatable is it to worship a savior who was willing to be humiliated and treated poorly during his time on Earth? A God who didn’t care if He received accolades or fancy dinners with Caesar. A God who was willing to bleed and die at the hands of people who didn’t understand him. That is a humble father who knows what it is to be human.
Jon Weece - Lead Follower at Southland Christian Church in Lexington, KY sums up the human condition pretty well in the following quote: “We impress people with our strength, but we connect with our weakness.” Indeed, God has impressed me time and time again with His incredible power, but I love him most because He understands what it’s like to be me. What greater example of power is there than to be humble and willing to give your life for another?
Our God is a humble God. He reigns from Heaven above.
And yeah, He’s pretty awesome.
Contributed by Josh Hillyer.