Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of the 4th Week of Advent 2020: Year 1
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; those who act accordingly have a good understanding; his praise endures for ever.” (Psalm 111:10)
In my studies lately I have tried to seek out the more contemplative words to ponder on. This verse from Psalm 111 resonates with my desire to more fully seek out God.
I think the first word to translate here is the word “fear.” Fear in this case means, “regard” or “respect.” for God. While it doesn’t always mean love for God, it does mean acknowledging the existence of God. In the story of Job, Job had grievances with God but never denied the existence of God or the absolute power of God. He may not have loved God through his ordeal, but he never doubted that God is the final authority; like it or not.
So regard and respect for the existence of God goes a long way in helping us to understand creation, all that is, and all that ever will be. Trying to believe that creation “just happened,” get’s me nowhere. Within creation, I ponder what it reveals about the Creator, and humanity’s role and purpose in it. What is our call within creation?
A part of me believes that our loving God calls us to be stewards of this planet. It is an even balance for us; a give-and-take relationship. The planet feeds us, gives us air to breath and cares for us, and then, we, in turn watch it and do our best to keep it in ecological equilibrium. If we do things right, perhaps no other creatures will go the way of prehistoric beasts. We were brought forth to prevent such loss from happening again. Therefore, our existence (at least in part) is evidence of God’s love of God’s creation, and this fragile earth our island home, in particular.
Perhaps another purpose for humanity is to reflect on God with the gifts of art; God’s image of the Creator in the created. The beginning of our wisdom is made manifest in our God-given creativity. We make crafts, pictures and music, and all such little creations can be used to praise the Creator. In this way we give back to the Creator in our praise of God, and our praise (not fear) for God endures forever.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John