Today though is Wednesday 30 December and many in Melbourne awoke to news of a tragic explosion near Altona on the Princess Freeway. The news of this explosion is not festive or jubilant at all. Two teenage boys are dead and questions are still flooding in about the causes of the accident. We are up to 256 dead nationally in this holiday period. Hardly a holiday.
That's not all the bad news from Melbourne. In Footscray yesterday a gas tank exploded being carried in the back of a truck and killed the driver which then sent his truck into a number of nearby cars on a suburban street. One witness described the sound like 'a bomb.' The force of the blast took down two live power lines. Police continue the investigation today.
Some explosives are welcome and others are less-so.
When the Jewish people were at Mt Sinai in the days of the prophet and Our Teacher Moses, the scene was one of great fire and quaking earth. We read the following in the book of Deuteronomy
“These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick gloom, with a great voice, and He added no more. He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. and when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. You said, ‘Behold, the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire; we have seen today that God speaks with man, yet he lives. Now then why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer, then we will die. For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?" (Deuteronomy 5.22-26)
Just like explosions in Australia, the fire of the Word of God and the presence of God is welcome to some and fearful and traumatising to others. What is our response to God's presence with us? What is your response to God coming toward you? His arms are open; His love is toward you.
The book of Hebrews copies and pastes from the same biblical scene above with "our God is a consuming fire." (12.29)He comes to reclaim what is His, sometimes with fire. Will you welcome Him into your life?
Original photo by Bob Mendelsohn on Flickr here