Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fear takes hold

“Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” Mark 6:50
Fear is one of those things that is contagious. When human beings are in groups, fear can rush through a crowd like an epidemic, like a silent killer. Sometimes there is a known enemy, and sometimes there is just general anxiety. And then there are the fears that overcome ever individual - fear of failure and not measuring up to some one's or our standards. We doubt ourselves and we lose trust in our gifts, skills and instincts. As I got ready to start work in this wonderful and loving congregation, I was afraid. Not of them but of my self and my own mistakes. Would they forgive me my humanity? Every beginning of a school year, every new job, every new challenge and we all tend to be very afraid. The good news is Jesus knows all about our fear and walks on the water to comfort us. Jesus, being human, understood fear. And when he spoke to his disciples, identified himself and told them to not be afraid. Our relationship with Christ is not conceived nor grounded in fear, rather in comfort and personal assurance. Jesus also knows how all encompassing fear can be, how gentle humans can become violent ignited by fear, and how normal the fear experience is for us all. And he says to us today - take heart, it is I, do not be afraid.

Today, I ask only that I walk this day in trust and not in fear. It is all too easy to count the challenges and be overwhelmed. It takes trust to believe that God will right all sinking boats - but that is the promise. In Christ Jesus, there is no storm, no calamity to which he can't bring calm and peace. So may my heart be bold today, trusting in the presence of Christ's peace in my every day walk.

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