Weekly Devotional by Pastor Tim Smith
"Awesome" is one of those words that was so overused in the 90's and beyond that it doesn't mean much of anything anymore. If it does mean something culturally these days, it means "good." I made an "A" on my test! "Awesome!" Good.
Awesome means more than that. Ironically, this word that we exclaim for "very good" comes from the same root as the word "awful." "How do you feel?" "Awful." As opposed to "Awesome!"
Hebrews has been clipping along through chapters 11 and 12 with an urging to keep the faith for listeners who have struggled mightily. We reach in the passage above one of the several "therefores." We are receiving a kingdom (of God) which cannot be shaken, the author proclaims, so our response is to give thanks. How? By offering to God an acceptable worship, with reverence and awe. Worship that is wholly other, that is awe-inspiring. Awesome!
Note that worship is always directed to God. How easy it is for me and for many of us to make worship yet another consumer product. I like this hymn, this liturgy, that preacher, that time-slot, and so on. This can easily morph into "I insist on this hymn, this liturgy, etc." Worship becomes all about me, and only secondarily about God. "What did I get out of it?" becomes my sole measuring stick. Look again at what Hebrews says. "We offer to God an acceptable worship."
PRAYER: As we've done with virtually everything else, somehow we've come to make worship all about me. Help us, O God, to make it about you. Awe comes somewhat naturally and sneaks up on us, but reverence takes work and intentionality. Show us how to give you our thanks, our awe, and our reverence. Remind us that you're God, and we're not. In the name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.