February 26: Wonder, Awe, Anticipation, Joy, Fear, or Resentment

by G. Jan Jones

Bible readings may bring about one or more of several emotional reactions for me:

Wonder and Awe at the feats attributed to God or His followers (Jew or Christian) — frequently can invoke sheer euphoria;

Anticipation — especially in the Psalms pleading for relief from human conflict and pain, physical or mental;

Joy — the anticipation is frequently balanced in the Psalms by great thanks for good fortune or alleviation of problems or suffering;

Fear or Resentment — I am challenged. Especially in response to stories of wrath and condemnation. I don’t fare well with wrath and punishment, as in the latter portion of the Psalm for today.

Genesis 21:1-7

The birth of Isaac. Unbridled joy for his parents! Sarah was 99 years old and Abraham was 100. I never knew until Fr. Ed told me, that Isaac means laughter (which is what Sarah did when told she would give birth.) I take away that God is holding back some surprises each of us believers will be hit with just when we think we have seen and done it all.

Psalm 105:1-11,37-45

Verses 1–7 are a song of praise. It is easy to imagine oneself surrounded by angels singing joyously — so moved that we are truly caught up in it all and find ourselves joining and singing our hearts out to God. And verses 37–42 are about the joy of God rewarding Israel — mentioning food and water gushing out of rocks. But then it takes a bittersweet turn for me, in verse 43 as “He gave them the lands of the nations, and they took possession of the wealth of the peoples, that they might keep his statutes….” (Challenging.)

Hebrews 1:8-12

Paul describes the miraculous aspects of Christ vaulted to a position above even God’s angels. For me, the key phrases are, “Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever—” and even if the heavens and earth “perish, but you [Christ] remain; they will all wear out like clothing; like a cloak you will roll them up, and like clothing they will be changed.” I see beautiful reassurance for all of us — if we believe that, as Christians, we are always part of Christ’s plan — no matter the shape of our reincarnation.

 

  • Psalm 105:1-11,37-45
  • Genesis 21:1-7
  • Hebrews 1:8-12