As I begin this New Year I want to engage with God consistently in a new way. I want to banish completely the judgmental, condemning, punishing God that I was wrongly presented as a child. I want to see, feel, and hear God as God truly is: the always faithful, forever forgiving, and continually long-suffering God. In 2014 I will be listening for the God that is persistently communicating with me and beholding the grace of God which is always present to me. I will return to my God who yearns to be in a dialogical, intimate relationship with me. And I will open myself to God’s move in my life.
I want to respond to the God in the same way, I believe, those who physically encountered Messiah did over two thousand years ago.
When those who did not believe that they were actually meeting with the living God in Christ were confronted with His majesty, “they were amazed” (Mt. 22:22, NIV). They ‘wondered’ as the King James Bible puts it. They wondered who they had just met. They wondered like that little boy when he first met his larger-than-life baseball hero or like that little girl when she met the Disney character who she believes is the actual princess from the movie she has watched at least fifty times. And those ‘unbelievers’ wondered who they were, now that they had truly met the living God in Jesus. I want to be amazed by God like that.
And when others, crowds of people, normal people, the common folk if you will, the ochlos in the Greek, heard the words of the Living Christ, they “were astonished at his teaching” (Mt. 22:33, NIV). The throngs, the multitudes, the masses, sort of like the crazed fans when the Beatles came to America the first time, were carried or blown away by the Word of God, the Christ in their midst. Maybe flabbergasted and dumbfounded are better words. I don’t know, but I want to be astonished by God like that.
And when even others wanted to know who the Messiah was, what they heard awestruck them, because, “No one could say a word in reply” (Mt. 22:46, NIV). They were speechless at the sound of His voice; they were frozen in absolute bewilderment at the sight of His glory. They were overcome by the Way, the Truth, and the Life in their midst. I want to be awestruck by God like that.
Amazed! Astonished! Awestruck! That’s how I want to be when I meet with God in 2014.
© Paul Dordal, 2014