Fear

Jesus Storybook BbleTwo months ago, when Alinn@ and I went on a retreat, we came away with hope.  We came away with some tangible ideas that we could implement right away in our family life to reflect our desire to follow Jesus together as a family.

One of those ideas was reading the Bible together.

It used to be, in the not so distant past that we read the Bible on our own.  I read the Bible on my own which was separate from when Alinn@ read the Bible on her own.  And whenever the kids felt like it, they’d pull down their Jesus Storybook Bible from the shelf and ask me to read it for them.

Now, we’ve incorporated reading one story from the Jesus Storybook Bible into our daily bedtime routine with the kids.

And Alinn@ and I signed up to receive an email Monday through Friday that outlines what we are to read from the Bible that day.  We still read on our own but after the kids have gone down to bed, we come together to listen to a podcast devotional from what we read that day.  We listen to it through an iPad app, but it can be accessed through this website.

I have to admit that I’m really surprised by how it’s changed our family.  We talk about Jesus.  He’s become part of our family vernacular.  Faith isn’t a private matter anymore.  It’s public.  The kids ask tons of questions.  Just the other day after we read about Pentecost, S@m asked me, “How can God be so big and be inside us at the same time?”

Speaking of questions, because Alinn@ and I jumped into this at the end of the calendar year, we started off reading a lot of Revelation and the minor prophets.  As one of the guys from the daily podcast said, there’s a whole lot of people “waxing apocalyptic.”  There’s some seriously scary s***.  And that got me to wondering about the “fear of the Lord.”

As a preacher and a guy who’s heard his share of Christian sermons, I’ve understood the “fear of the Lord” as not a literal fear but more an idiomatic expression that is more akin to deep love and respect.

Reading the Bible this past November and December, I started to wonder if we got it wrong.  There was a whole lot of literal fear being experienced when people encountered God.  I don’t think it has to be an either/or (i.e. either respect or literal fear).  But I think we miss out on a whole lot of awe when it comes to the Lord when we explain away the “fear of the Lord” simply as respect.

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