18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
So many people have a view of God that is like the mountain of fear. They view God as a punisher (‘why would God allow …..’), as a purely condemning authoritarian figure (with rules that culminate in a nasty death if the rules are infringed). In fact, this mountain of fear has imagery that is more reminiscent of hell; fire, doom, gloom, trembling – than how I believe our interaction with God should be. By contrast the mountain of joy invokes images of life; joy, perfection, community (assembly). And a Judge that invokes no fear. The difference is Jesus.
So how does this apply to me. I know at times I experience fear and anxiety in my life. If I dwell on those things, then I find my worldview is coloured by feelings of doom and gloom. I judge myself and feel judged by God and others and feel condemned. HOWEVER, if I take my fears and anxiety to God, if I choose to join with the angels in worship, if I choose to believe that no matter what my situation or how I feel, God loves me and is working for me not against me, that through Jesus I am accepted by God then I find my spirits lift, I feel held by God not condemned or punished. I have learnt this by living through many times of struggle. I am praying for you today to find yourself on Mt Zion rather than a mountain of fear.
Lord God I thank you for your great and generous love for each one of us. I pray for my brothers and sisters today who find themselves on the mountain of fear. I thank you that you have made a way for each one of us to get off that mountain through Jesus. Where there is fear, I pray for hope. Where there is despair, I pray for unexpected joy and peace. In Jesus name Amen.
Written by Christine Knight