Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fear of God

Here is what Fr. Thomas Keating, spiritual writer and co-founder of Contemplative Outreach, says about fear of God:

The biblical term "fear of God" does not refer to the emotion of fear. Fear of God is a technical term in the Bible meaning the right relationship with God. The right relationshp with God is to trust God. The right relationship with God involves reverence and awe for God's transcendence and immanence as well as trust in God's goodness and compassion.

To envisage what the biblical fear of God actually means, imagine a child at Christmastime in a huge department store. The top floor, the size of a whole city block, is filled with toys. When the child emerges from the elavator into the wonderland of desirable objects, her eyes grow bigger and bigger. She looks to the left and to the right, seeing everything her heart has ever desired: skis, teddy bears, doll houses, toys, sleds, electric trains, computers. She wants to go in every direction at once. She is so enthralled that she does not know where to start. She wants to grasp everything and take it home.

The biblical fear of God is similar. We feel ourselves invited into a mystery that contains everything our hearts could possibly desire. We experience the fascination of the Ultimate Mystery rather than fear of the unknown. We want to grasp or be grasped by the mystery of God's presence that opens endlessly in every direction.

Journey to the Center, page 30.

In peace,
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

Photo: sunrise at Honey Creek 09 16 07

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