I've been too busy or tired to blog lately, but I'm alive and well.
I started my "Fear of the Lord" series last week and continued yesterday with part two. Something significant is happening. I can't quite describe and certainly can't explain it, but the sense of God's presence is still with us. Yesterday was not peaceful, however--more intense. We changed the order of service so that we were singing praises at the end of the service instead of the beginning--after reading about some encounters with God (Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, Paul and John). More about that later. (I don't preach from a manuscript, so I can't post my sermon here, but when I get a little more time I will post a bit of what I've been preaching.)
Last week I began the series with this picture. I know it's meant to be a satiric piece from a satiric movie (Dogma), but I fear that it is not really very ironic or satirical at all. I think in some sense we have lost "wisdom" as individuals, as churches, as a society because we have lost almost all understanding of what it means to "fear the Lord."
We believers are not immune. It seems we often think Jesus Christ really is our game-show-host-political-candidate-thumbs up buddy who is asking "whazzup?"On the website which offers this charming item for $18.99, I'm informed that now my Buddy Christ can cover my ass in all circumstances.
What a contrast to this:
Rev. 5: 8-14 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: “ You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: “ Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!”
And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
The Lenten season is soon to begin. I pray God's Holy Spirit makes the holiness, the sacrifice, the majesty, the overwhelming love of the Lamb of God, slain for the sins of the world, real to us in fresh ways.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.