January 26

Psalm 111

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.” vs. 10

Over the last decades there has been a steady movement away from religion in our country. Denominations report large membership losses, and while independent churches have picked up many of those folks, reputable polling groups report that in general the number of unaffiliated people is increasing. Many of us can see those trends in our own families as children and grandchildren show little inclination to be involved in congregations of any kind. Of course there’s nothing innately good about just “going to church”–often regular worshippers are the last to practice what they hear preached. But still we wonder. As people move away from church, are they also moving away from God? When children are no longer given spiritual instruction, what will replace traditional religious values in their lives? Will they even have a moral compass for daily living? The psalmist believed that the fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom. What happens to wisdom when the fear of the Lord is non-existent? Those are important questions–and to ignore them seems dangerous. Fortunately, it doesn’t all depend on us! Even if our religions disappear, God will continue to be present, and the spark of God that rests in every person will seek to maintain the connection. Future generations will continue to praise God–forms will be different and creeds rewritten. Denominations will come and go, but the fear of the Lord will last forever!

Thought for the Day: What does it mean to “fear the Lord”?

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