Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
For the Lord Most High is awesome,
the great King over all the earth...
God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.
(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
I frequently hear the word "awesome" used on television by contestants or people interviewed. They say it with an American accent,somewhat reminiscent of "R-some", and it applies to anything that we might say is pretty good. But for me it has been devalued from its original meaning. So what might "Awesome" have once meant?
Originally is referred to something that inspired awe. And "awe" is the feeling we get in the presence of something vast that challenges our understanding of the world. The most common sources of awe concern things of nature (eg millions of stars in a night sky), or people (eg a newborn baby), or a religious experience (eg in prayer or worship). There can also be an element of dread about it. We can be in awe of nature's destructive power, for instance.
Psalm 47 describes God as awesome - He is all-powerful, the one who planned and initiated our beautiful universe, and we should stand in awe of Him. But Jesus showed us the human face of God. He taught us that God calls us to Himself, and that He loves us as a father loves his children. He is AWESOME!
God of awe and wonder,
all-powerful, mighty Father,
we thank You for Your love and care for us.
Help us never to forget all that You
offer to us Your people.
We praise You,
we magnify Your holy name,
and we ask You to make us worthy
of Your love.
How many words can You think of that reflect aspects of God that make Him seem awesome - before you look this up in a dictionary? I have started you of with one! Think of a hymn that might help. Let me know anyone who gets over 15!