Text: Matthew 3:7-12
For strength in prayer
For neighbors on your street
For religious leaders
In his book Letters to Malcolm, C.S. Lewis wrote the following:
"Servile fear is, to be sure, the lowest form of religion. But a god such that there could never be occasion for even servile fear—a safe god, a tame god—soon proclaims himself to any sound mind as a fantasy. I have met no people who fully disbelieved in Hell and also had a living, life-giving belief in Heaven."
Many might balk at the idea of being afraid of God, but Lewis is pushing us to consider that being afraid has the advantage over being overconfident. Fear keeps us from substituting our own fond fantasies and wishes for what is real and stops us from being careless or inattentive. Much like the electrician who checks twice before working on a circuit, a healthy concern ensures we check our assumptions and theories about our lives.
God is real, with what Lewis called “sharp corners and rough edges,” meaning God is solid enough, strong enough that we simply cannot push him around or mold him according to our tastes. If we think about that fact, then we might at least be in the position of the Pharisees, who knew enough that they were at least aware that they should test their theories and make sure that they weren’t simply kidding themselves. John may be surprised or cynical, but maybe we should be glad that God can work even through a person’s calculated self-interest.
Easter joy ~ Pr. Dave Brooks