DOES any piece of music send a shiver up your spine? What about a poem, or a painting? Or the taste of a well made curry or cake? How do you respond? Perhaps with awe of the composer for writing such music, or of the performers, the poet, painter, cook, baker. Such a gift, we think, glimpsing something about the other person we cannot fully express.

Picture a stunning sunset, or seeing a herd of elephants in the wild, the delicate workings of the body, the intricate laws of physics. Our awe in response to the natural world is similar to our reaction to music or another inspirational experience. Awe takes us into the heart of the creator, whether a painter or the creator of a sunset. But at the same time awe leaves us outside, wishing for more.

Can we get to know the composer, the creator? Widen the question a moment: how do we get to know anyone? The answer is, only if they choose to let us come close. We cannot get to know someone who keeps their distance.

Through our awe of a sunset God is calling us closer. By showing us something of his greatness, his imagination, his power, his joy, his beauty, he teases us to search for himself.

But which god is (s)he? If he wants us closer, we can expect him to show himself. A good place to start is the life of Jesus: those who knew him saw, with awe, the creator God walking in their world. He still does.

Dr Alex G Stewart, Coniston Christian Fellowship