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Reverence in Its Working Clothes

by John Gipson

I've been thinking about Goethe's statement that "The soul of the Christian religion is reverence."

Off the top of my head, my first thought had to do with Moses as he stood before the burning bush which was not being consumed. God said, "'Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.' And he said, 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God" (Exodus 3:5,6).

Then my mind jumped to a crisis in Israel -- the death of King Uzziah. A young man saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and he said, "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!'" (Isaiah 6:5). Isaiah then heard the voice of the Lord: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" And out of reverence Isaiah responded, "Here am I! Send me" (Isaiah 6:8).

Racing ahead to Luke 5:8, I thought of one of Jesus' mighty works. "But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.'"

I know these brief reflections on reverence are limited, but they are sufficient to convince me of the importance of at least three things:

[1] We should feel a holy fear in God's presence;
[2] We should be acutely aware of our sinfulness; and,
[3] We should respond to God in willing service.

If you want to see reverence in its working clothes, look at the apostle Paul as he declares, "For to me to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

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