August 22

Hebrews 12:18-21

“You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest…” vs. 18

The writer of the book of Hebrews, writing to people who were familiar with scripture, found inspiration in the faith of the ancestors, but also pointed to the limitations of their stories. Here he compares the experience of the Israelites at Mt. Sinai with the new covenant mediated by Jesus. The Israelites had come to something that could be touched, a holy mountain, and had experienced the presence of a terrifying God. For those who follow Jesus the God experience is personal. We don’t go to a mountain or a temple or some sacred shrine to meet God, God instead comes to us. Just as God came to Jesus at the Jordan with a flutter of wings and a word of love, God comes to us every day of our lives through the presence of that same Spirit. It can happen anywhere…at home, at work, golfing or hanging with friends. And when God comes near one message touches our hearts…we are loved! And more than that, our future is secure. Choose whatever image you wish for life in the world to come, but cling to the promise that is common to all. One day we will be with God in all God’s purity and holiness…and it’s all a gift! And best of all, there will be perfect peace and rest for all!

Thought for the Day: Why is God a terrifying presence for some?

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