I’ve been going through the followers guide for Session 1 that was handed out to everyone last Thursday. (If you weren’t there last week, don’t worry, I’ll have extras for everyone.)  I initially thought, “OK, no problem.  I can answer a few questions in one sit-down and that will be my deeper reflection for the week.”  Boy, I was wrong.  Maybe that would’ve applied to some other feel good bible study, but there’s a problem I’ve run into with this first session; I have to keep asking myself what it means to Fear God.  Now I’m understanding why no one ever talks about this or makes it their next sermon series.  It’s doesn’t feel good to talk about it, much less think about it every day for the next two weeks.

But I keep coming back to the scripture Francis Chan referenced in the first video.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. (Psalm 111.10. See also Proverbs 1.7 & 9.10)

What does it mean to begin with a fear of the LORD?

The Oxford American dictionary on my laptop defines the word beginning this way:

the point in time or space at which something starts : he left at the beginning of February | they had reached the beginning of the forest.
the process of coming, or being brought into being : the beginning of active cooperation | the ending of one relationship and the beginning of another.
• the first part or earliest stage of something : the beginning of a letter | she had the beginnings of a headache.
• (usu. beginnings) the background or origins of anything : the series explores the beginnings of flight | he had risen from humble beginnings to great wealth.

I highlighted the parts of the definition that really caught my eye.  The idea of being brought into being and actively cooperating seemed to be a theme that came up during our discussion.  The idea of letting go.

With that in mind as we prepare for our continuation of this discussion on Thursday, I wanted us to collectively take the time to do and think about one of the passages in Chan’s session 1 guide:

Take some time to consider your relationship with God.  As you read the words, this all-powerful God is with you, right now.  Rather than imagining what it would have been like for Isaiah or John to be in God’s presence, meditate on the fact that you are in His presence right now.  Spend ten to fifteen minutes in prayer as you immerse yourself in the reality of God’s presence.  Be careful not to revert to a more comfortable image of God at this point—see yourself in the presence of the fear-inspiring God who showed Himself to Isaiah and John.  Talk with Him about what it’s like to be in His presence.  Don’t worry about what you think you ought to feel—this time of openness and honesty before God is invaluable.  Write down any notes from your prayer.

Communitas: Love, Labor, Live