When my boys were little, I would often put them on my shoulders to carry them high in the air, much to their delight. 

I'd hoist them on my shoulders if we were watching a parade, a concert, fireworks, or just wanted to do something fun.  I'm not sure if they remember those moments, but I hope that at some level they recall what it was like.  

This morning I read a verse that I've never really paid all that much attention to until now.  It is from the Hebrew Scriptures--the book of Deuteronomy in the Torah.  It reads:  
Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders - Deut 33:12
I love this verse for so many reasons.  For starters, it's a beautiful image of a God who, like a father, loves to lift his children on his shoulders.  

Second, the fact that this image of God is lifted up in the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) is so powerful and moving to me.  Far too many people have this notion that the God of the Old Testament is angry, capricious, judgemental, distant and ready to strike down sinners at any moment.  

But here we have a glimpse of something different, something beautiful.  We see an intimate image of a God who is tender, present, connected and lovingly preferential toward his children.  

It's also a moment in the text when the ancients recorded a glimpse of the true nature of God--an image untainted by superstition, and dread.  

If your ideas of God are dominated by the angry, judgemental and severe God whose been handed to you from your past... If you can't seem to reconcile the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New...  

Hold the image of Deuteronomy 33:12 in your heart.  Imagine yourself riding on the shoulders of your loving Heavenly Father.  Let the joy of that image fill your spirit with a powerful sense of trusting love.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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