Sunday, July 24, 2005

"Do not be afraid."

In the small town where I grew up, there was not much crime, no violence, and there was seldom anyone but a drunk in the jail. Therefore, people did not lock their doors. I remember the progression at my house: At first, we did not lock any door. Then, we locked the screen door (with a spindly little crook that anyone could break). After buying a new door for the front of the house, we began locking it too. Finally, my dad installed a porch light near the door.

Today, we may be in the most fearful era in history. We fear terrorism, violence, crimes, old age, the big diseases, losing our jobs and pensions, global warming, the loss of social security. We are in deep pessimism about curing our cultural illnesses, our problems in government, in our schools and in our churches. All of this despite our "belief in God." Somehow our religion just doesn't seem to be able to handle the fears.

I read somewhere that the most oft repeated command of Jesus was "Do not be afraid." I did not check on that, but it is the last thing he said as he left this earth.
In John 14:27 he says," peace I give you....Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid." In Matthew 10:330-31, "Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." In Mark 5:36, he tells Jairus, "Don't be afraid, just believe."

Dear Lord, help us to see the big picture and to believe that you have us in the palm of your hand.

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