As a part of our Advent observances at Grace, we are making use of Concordia Publishing’s Behold the Child materials for worship. Our web devotions through Christmas will be guided by Pastor Kevin Golden’s devotional booklet written in support of the Behold the Child theme (you may purchase a downloadable copy of Pr. Golden’s book by following this link).
For proper awe of God
For an absence of pride
For astronomers, astronauts and others who study the universe
Text: Psalm 72:5
Fear is reverence, meaning being in awe... –Pr. Golden
MODERN CHRISTIANS DO NOT react well to the idea that we are to “fear” God, reasoning that no one should ever have reason or cause to be afraid, especially of a being whose essential nature is love.
But to think that idea through, we see how lacking it is. After all, fear is a natural and healthy response to something that threatens—you’d think me beyond strange if, hiking in Alaska together, we encounter a growling grizzly and I walk up and embrace the beast! It is healthy fear that is truly our best chance of overcoming the pandemic, because reasonable fear of infection causes us to modify our activities to lessen the risk.
God’s loving desire for us notwithstanding, he is a threat to our sinful selves, and that is a source of fear; even more, to have what I’d call a “healthy fear” of God is a wonderful antidote to the central effect of sin, where our eyes see no one but ourselves. Our Christian ancestors said that pride was the deadliest sin because the proud man or woman is always looking down on others, looking down even on his or her own possessions and life because there is nothing that is, that can be as good—and to encounter someone better—bigger—is a mortal threat. Pride cannot stand being made to look or seem small, so pride will embrace slavering grizzlies rather than let go of the wrong way of seeing.
God’s love comes to us and calls us to look up and see truly for a change, and discover how right and good it is to find our proper—honored!—place in creation.
May you live in Advent hope ~ Pr. Dave Brooks
--Quoted materials are from Behold the Child Daily Devotions #12-4563
© 2019 Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission under license 20:12-1. www.cph.org