“…be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe”, I concluded, and then started quoting my favorite Bible passage once again, preparing to share. With a bemused smile, I filled my right coat pocket with batteries, and stepped outside into a cold November night. Even though I walked through the familiar streets of my small hometown, I had to concentrate on the route to “church”. Without electricity, since “The Collapse”, streetlights did no more than hang teasingly overhead, and in fear of jealous neighbors, no one dared burn candles anymore. It was very dark out tonight. I stepped quietly and listened for the dogs.
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.”
Up two blocks so far, I think. One more before I turn left. Hoping not to walk into a stop sign again, or trip on the curb and fall noisily into someone’s trash, I felt forward with my left arm constantly reaching. I picked up my feet so diligently, lest I scrape the street or kick a stone, and turned my head back and forth; not to see better for I could not see, but to listen better, for the breathing or the tracking, of the dogs.
21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion,to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. 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 men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
I smiled to myself again. A danger, if it distracted me from concentrating on the walk, but some joys can not be suppressed. I would indeed “come to God” one day, and having my name written in His book, would be as a “righteous man made perfect”! I challenge you not to smile at the thought!
Perhaps it was by His grace (like the grace that saved my soul!), but despite my delightful revery I heard the sound of a lone dog waiting for me. I can’t tell how a waiting dog sounds, but I had a C battery in my hand and flying at the hungry, angry, and terrified dog’s head before I could think about it. His one quick yelp would not do me any good, except in dispatching the immediate threat. I hurried on, risking the noise or a tumble, and deciding not to even try to recover the precious C. I only had AA’s in my pocket now, and they are just not as powerful. I smiled at the pun, and rolled my eyes in the dark.
24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?
Simple words like recession and depression had long been out of use. “The Collapse” was the only expression used, if one dared to even mention it. Only Jesus’ new covenant; only His sprinkled blood, could speak a better word to those of us left to struggle in the dark, against the dogs, and with all the value of a battery contained merely in its heft. Would we still continue to ignore “Him who warns us from heaven”?
” Probably”, I had to admit, as I sped through the last vestige of a road and somehow once again found the old cellar door. There was no reason to knock. With no light, and no heat, there was virtually no distinction between indoors and out. I was either a friend or a foe to those already gathered here, and they would be equally, even equivalently prepared for either case. Their world had already been shaken and only the love between us remained, and would forever remain.
26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
The seven of us sat together at this Thanksgiving service pouring out our thankfulness, and singing our songs of praise in exuberant whispers. My heart filled with joy as He was worshiped with acceptable reverence. And what I used to take for granted, now filled me with awe: another C battery found in the torn lining of my coat!