Readings are to inspire awe in us and to remind us Who is the creator of the universe
by Renae Bauer
Does God really want us to fear Him?
Sunday’s readings are filled with alarming words but let’s look at one word in particular -- fear. The first reading (Malachi 3:19-20) refers to fearing God’s name. How can this possibly square with our belief that God is a loving Creator?
The answer lies in the definition. The word “fear” can refer to our anticipation or presumption of danger but it can also describe our profound reverence and awe of God. It’s true! With the second definition in mind – the recognition that God as the author of life (not you and I) -- the readings take on a different tone. Yes, we hear that discipleship can be painful but we never suffer in isolation. God is always with us. Just as the first reading says, “But for you who fear [read as “revere”] my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” And that is Good News!
NASA image: Spitzer Space Telescope’s infrared cameras reveal the stars of the galactic center region of the Milky Way.