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Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
June 24, 2007
Beware of Poor Scriptural Translations
A Reflection on Creation

     Those of us who are in the baby boomer generation probably remember learning the list of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as follows: Wisdom, Understanding, Council, Fortitude,
Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord.  Well, the first six made sense but the last one always struck me as being a bit strange considering the fact that we were also being taught that God loves us.  It is a bit difficult to reconcile the fact that we must fear someone who loves us.  There are not many parents who would want their children to fear them.  Fear in the sense of respect is one thing but fear in the sense that the children do not dare to approach you is a different story.

    It took many years before the problem was rectified.  As it happens, the expression ‘Fear of the Lord’ was actually poorly translated.  What it really meant to express was an Awe in the Presence of God.  This translation clarified many things.  It became clear to me that if we are in awe of God’s creation, we would then realize the grandeur of his being and thus we would come to realize our “place” in his presence.

    This realization leads us to question our attitude toward God and Creation.  Do we stand in awe as we see the many wonders God has made or have we grown jaded over the years?  And what of our children?  Do they experience wonder and surprise past the age of three or four years old or do they take all of earth’s beauty for granted? 

    Awe in the presence of God is not and should not be limited to children.  If we lose our ability to stand in awe we have jilted ourselves of a precious gift.  Who among us cannot
appreciate the beauty of a sunset with hues of oranges and reds?  How many of us do not hold our breath at the grandeur of the ocean as it roars and displays it mighty waves?  How can we prevent ourselves from wondering who is so great and powerful as to be able to control this forces? 

    Those of us who are lucky enough to experience the four seasons are blessed with the wonder of experiencing the cycle of life and death and all that it entails.  How do plants die and come back to life in the Spring?  Surely once they die, they should remain dead, shouldn’t they?  And the changing of the leaves in Autumn reveals a God that is not only creative but also very interesting.  After all, it is not necessary for anything to change color before dying.  Dying is dying, is it not?  But God wanted us to see more than that.  He is not a boring God nor is he unimaginative.  He is full of life and wants us to experience life to the full. 

    We all know that we could go on and on with examples of surprise and wonderment in our world not the least of which would be the birth of an infant or the working of the human brain but the bottom line is that in order to stand in awe before God and the work of his hands will only be experienced if we allow it to happen.  Let’s not pass this one up!

                            Lorette P. Nault