Tremble, Rejoice, and Kiss

"Join us this Sunday for trembling, rejoicing, and kissing!"

"Come out this weekend for our worship service: tremble, rejoice, and kiss!"

"Virtual or in person, for worship this weekend, we’ll tremble, rejoice, and kiss!"

What, you don’t think that will attract more folks this weekend? :)

Well, it didn’t before COVID either. But many churches are still searching for full biblical expression in worship. When it comes to trembling, rejoicing, and kissing, we need all three in our worship.

Read Psalm 2:11-12 in the Amplified classic:
"Serve the Lord with reverent awe and worshipful fear; rejoice and be in high spirits with trembling (lest you displease Him).
Kiss the Son (pay homage to Him in purity) lest He be angry and you perish in the way, for soon shall His wrath be kindled. O blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are all those who seek refuge and put their trust in Him!"

The verses before it outline a ridiculously high view of God. Yes, an appropriately high view. It’s worth the read for an appropriate setup. The heading in The Passion Translation reads "The Coronation of the King." And it’s just as grand as it sounds.

How dare the nations plan a rebellion.

Their foolish plots are futile!
Look at how the power brokers of the world
rise up to hold their summit
as the rulers scheme and confer together
against Yahweh and his Anointed King, saying:
"Let’s come together and break away from the Creator.
Once and for all let’s cast off these controlling chains
of God and his Christ!"

God-Enthroned merely laughs at them;

the Sovereign One mocks their madness!
Then with the fierceness of his fiery anger
he settles the issue and terrifies them to death with these words:
"I myself have poured out my King on Zion, my holy mountain.

"I will reveal the eternal purpose of God.

For he has decreed over me, ‘You are my favored Son.
And as your Father I have crowned you as my King Eternal.
Today I became your Father.
Ask me to give you the nations and I will do it,
and they shall become your legacy.
Your domain will stretch to the ends of the earth.
And you will shepherd them with unlimited authority,
crushing their rebellion as an iron rod smashes jars of clay!’"

That’s when the Tremble, Rejoice, and Kiss part comes in.

Listen to me, all you rebel-kings

and all you upstart judges of the earth.
Learn your lesson while there’s still time.
Serve and worship the awe-inspiring God.
Recognize his greatness and bow before him,
trembling with reverence in his presence.
Fall facedown before him and kiss the Son
before his anger is roused against you.
Remember that his wrath can be quickly kindled!
But many blessings are waiting for all
who turn aside to hide themselves in him!

Let me describe each of these.

We must remember how "other" God is. The Israelites didn’t even dare utter his name. YHWH. He is deserving of great honor.
They would roll over in their graves, hearing some of these "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs*. (Not so fast there, anti-kissing police, but we’ll get to that part in a minute.)

But for perspective, what is water like? We often drink a glass of it or splash around in the tub. But have you been to the beach? Waves can be so much fun. But some are huge and downright terrifying. Same water. But have you lost sight of the shore and experienced the open sea with waves taller than buildings? Or have you at least seen videos of such monstrosities?

We can’t become overly-familiar with the grander of the MAKER—the LORD of heaven and earth. We need to help our congregation experience the majesty of the Matchless One. Bow. Low. Tremble.
Trembling looks like bowing, high praise, repentance, tears, laments, begin undone, and songs of honor, reverence, and submission.

But don’t lose sight of the reality of the covenant we’re in. Oh friends, there is reason for joy today and the best, most unbelievable retirement package you’ve ever heard of! In every area of pleasure, we experience a measure of joy. But in His presence? FULLNESS! (Psalm 16:11)

Clubs, parties, stadium games…those are a tiny measure. His presence? FULLNESS!

When we see the joy in our Father’s eyes and the openness of His embrace at our turning, the truest life, the widest smile, the happiest moments begin.

Y’all, if we gather for church and we don’t sweat rejoicing, we aren’t doing something right. We’ve got to get less dignified. (Sometimes, what we think is "trembling" is only us remaining looking dignified.) Let loose. Raise the roof. Yippee with a side of yi yo kayah!

Rejoicing looks like laughter, leaping, dancing, clapping, high-fiving, and songs of victory, celebration, and joy.

In honor of celebrating my 15th wedding anniversary this week, here’s my favorite kissing joke: "I didn’t kiss my wife until we were married…of course she wasn’t my wife until we were married." :)

You can tremble and rejoice without maturity in a relationship with God. But you can’t kiss. Translation, intimacy takes time and maturity in a relationship. When I hear someone calling songs "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs, I interpret that as someone who simply hasn’t grown deep in intimacy with Jesus. The intimate picture of reclining at the table, laying his head on Jesus’ chest, or entering a room of haters and washing his feet with her hair teaches us that affection and intimacy is part of fullness in our relationship with God. It’s ok to be there. Let’s move deeper.

Kissing looks like lingering, tears, spontaneous songs of love, silence, and songs of closeness, givenness, and affection.
So how would you describe the ways your congregation needs to grow in trembling, rejoicing, and kissing?

*Oh, and if you’re wondering what people are referring to as "Jesus is my boyfriend" songs, Kari Jobe has written several. "The More I Seek You" is a classic. And a friend just sent me this one called First Love. I include the lyrics below with the scriptures I looked up that may have inspired the lyrics.

Verse 1
I’m returning to the secret place
Psalm 91:1 (NKJV) He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Matthew 6:6 (ESV) But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Just an altar and a flame
Exodus 20:24 (ESV) An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you.
Love is found here
Romans 5:8 (ESV) But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In our sacred space
Psalm 23:1-6 (ESV) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
I hear Your voice I see Your face
Song of Solomon 2:14 (ESV) O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

You’re still my first love
Revelation 2:4-5 (NKJV) Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
You’re still my only one
Luke 4:8 (ESV) And Jesus answered him, "It is written, "‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’"
John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
You’re still my first love
1 John 4:19 (ESV) We love because he first loved us.
You’re still my only one
Luke 17:15-16 (NIV) One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Verse 2
There’s a table just for You and me
Psalm 23:5 (ESV) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
Break the bread and pour the wine
John 6:53 (ESV) So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Perfect union
John 17:21 (ESV) That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Nothing in between
Mark 15:38 (ESV) And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
I am Yours and You are mine
Song of Solomon 6:3 (NKJV) I am my beloved’s, And my beloved is mine. He feeds his flock among the lilies.

I feel my heart beating out of my chest
Matthew 22:37 (ESV) And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
I wanna stay forever like this
1 Thessalonians 4:17b (NIV) And so we will be with the Lord forever.
May the flame of my heart always be lit
Acts 2:3 (ESV) And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
I wanna burn forever like this
Psalm 69:9 (NKJV) Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.

Your love is wild
John 15:13 (ESV) Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Your love is wild for me
Luke 15:20 (NIV) So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

(I wonder if having these scriptures under each line on the screen would help disciple folks) :)


ps. I was inspired to write this post from something I read in Mike Bickle's classic "Passion For Jesus." He writes "We rejoice for the free gift of salvation in Romans, tremble at His majesty in Revelation, and kiss the Son in response to His affection as revealed in the Song of Solomon."