The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?

The Wizard of Oz is a film that I like – but also scares me. It scared me as a child, and still bothers me now. If you’ve not seen it, it’s worth a watch.

The witch is scary. The flying monkeys are scary. And the Wizard himself is scary. The four heroes (plus a dog) go to find the Wizard, but are terrified of him. He has a big voice and is not very welcoming (there is a twist in the tale.)

Is God like the wizard?

The picture we have of God in our minds will greatly affect our relationship with Him and our praying. Here’s some of what Psalm 76 has to say:

It is you alone who are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet – when you, God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land. 10 Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.

This sounds a bit like the wizard, doesn’t it?

In every generation, and in every church we tend to talk about God in a variety of ways. At the moment, in churches like mine, we emphasise the welcome of God. We emphasise His unconditional love. Phrases like “God loves you just as you are.” are common. This is true, so true.

And it is also true, because God is multi dimensional, that He is someone to be responded to with awe, and with an acknowledgement that He is the God who will judge the world.

Psalm 76 looks at God like this and concludes with a powerful verse, that means so much to me.

11 Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfil them;

Because God is awesome. Because He is great. Because He is to be feared. Because of all this, I want to commit to following Him, and I want to fulfil my promises. I do not want to break my vows. Sometimes I will, and forgiveness is part of His good news. But I seek to fulfill my vows.

God, may we keep our promises to you today. Love Matt