A quick post before I go off to work!
I spoke on Sunday morning that the fear of God which Mary sings about in her song in Luke 1. I said that it had more to do with us holding God in awe, revering him and receiving his word to us as being definitive as opposed to being advice to be considered, rather than fear as in the sense of us being terrified of God. I realised afterwards that I didn't give a scripture to back that up, but this morning was reading Hebrews 12 and 13 and found a passage that speaks straight into this - Heb 13:18-24.
You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned." The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (NIV)
This is important stuff as Proverbs 1:7 says " The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." We want to be wise and not fools! So fear God in a right way but don't be terrified of him.
Why not stop right now and read Luke 2 if you haven't already - here is is again online from The Message.
Finally to say Alice's nativity last night was brilliant - congratulations to Caroline Hanbury and everyone else putting it on (and everyone else in the church involved in school productions this Christmas). It was based on a Russian story called Babooshka and was an excellent retelling of the Christmas story. I'm still not sure why Alice was an American tourist though!