Reverence & Awe
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire. ~ Hebrews 12:28-29
How do you think of God? Does God look like an old man with a white beard? Is God formless? Tangled up with images of the universe?
Do you think of God as fearsome? An angry, vengeful God?
Or is God a friend and companion?
For the writer of the letter to the Hebrews, God is a consuming fire. And that has its own possibilities for our imagination. It could be a frightening image: imagining ourselves burnt to a fiery crisp!
But the writer says "consuming," not destroying. God consuming every last piece of us. Not to destroy, but to have and to hold.
A consuming God wants to be taken seriously. Not put on a shelf in between Sunday worship services.
And at those worship services, a consuming God wants us to remember just what worship is for: not for our comfort, or socializing. Not to hear our favorite songs or the liturgy we prefer.
But to treat that consuming God with reverence and awe. To be fed and nurtured to serve that consuming God. To turn our heads, bow down, and give thanks to the might that is God.
And we can give thanks to the life that God offers.
Praise to you, consuming God! Help me to worship you always with reverence and awe. Amen