A Week ago the world changed…again. Since then we have been inundated with media speculation and political pronouncements. We have gathered together and prayed for people whose lives have been shattered in many different ways.
Many of us gathered together this weekend and worshipped and proclaimed that we believe in a God that is bigger than any bomb or bomber.
I woke up this morning and I guess I expected something different. However, the world looks the same to me. The talking heads are back to partisan bickering. Social media looks just as it did 8 days ago as do our newspapers and television.
In other words, life is virtually back to normal minus some more fear and hate. So that’s it? After all we have been through and experienced over the last week we simply go back to the way it was? What’s the point?
Every day we are faced with choices and decisions. I stand before a group of people every Sunday and tell the greatest story ever and yet in so many ways it seems as if life remains the same. This can no longer acceptable.
You need to make a choice and that needs to happen now. Will you simply let the fear, bitterness, and indifference take over or will you choose another path. There is a journey we are called to take. This is the path spelled out in the Bible.
It is a path of Grace, mercy, justice, and love. This path is not an easy one for us but with God’s help we can make it. For me, the answer to the “What’s the Point?” question is always the same. The point is we need to be better than we have been. We can no longer live in a world where our first impulse to problems is to look for scapegoats. The point is that the only way we can do that is to foster community and the only way I know to do that is through the grace of God.
So God, take us where we can’t get on our own.
We need you.
Let’s face it… Fear sucks.
Reading through the Resurrection accounts in all four Gospels, we are left with a prevailing theme for both the women at the tomb and the disciples locked away in the upper room; fear. Whether they were staring at an empty tomb or faced with the assignment to spread the word of what had happened, the women were afraid. The men were locked in the upper room afraid of the Jewish leaders. The impossible had happened and those that should react with the most joy were instead paralyzed with fear.
I think fear is an emotion that continues to inhibit us in many ways in our lives. How many times have you allowed fear to stop you from doing what needed done? How many times have you allowed fear to stop you from making a decision? Why do we let fear have so much power over us? I believe these questions are things that we need to think about personally and in the life of the church.
Fear stops us from living out our God given calling. If the women remained filled with fear would the news have spread as it did? If the disciples remained locked in the upper room would that have changed the direction of the early church? What things have been delayed or stopped that would benefit the Kingdom of God because of our fear?
The cure to fear? Maybe it is as simple as saying yes to God. I think the church for too long has allowed fear of failure, loss, and even success to stand in the way. “Do not be afraid”, were the words spoken to the women. “Peace be with you”, were the words spoken by Jesus to the disciples. These words beg for a response of “YES!”
“Yes Lord, we will not be afraid and we will receive the peace you offer”. If we lived our lives with that mindset what could we accomplish in the name of Jesus Christ? If we lived out our personal lives with those words, how healthy would our relationships be?
Yes…fear sucks…but fear does not get the last word. God does.