Skip to main content

Fear & Love

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary is from Mark 13:24-27 this week.  Upon leaving the Temple, one of the disciples expresses his awe at the architecture of the temple.  Jesus replies that even Herod's Temple will end up in rubble.  Privately they asked Jesus when the destruction of the Temple would happen.  Jesus tells them that trials, wars, famines, disasters and false teachers will all come, but they won't be the end.  He describes the fall of the Temple and the statue of Zeus that would be set in it before it's destruction that would happen in 70AD, 40 years after this prophecy.  He empathizes with those that would suffer during those times, but then he offers hope in the verses we read today.  He tells them that he will come back, he will gather his people, and he will set all things right.

Today, as we live in a time of uncertainty, surrounded by and consumed by fear, can we pull from this same well of hope? Does it offer peace or comfort to know that Jesus is coming back?  Recently Nadia Bolz-Weber talked about how courage is not the opposite of fear, love is.  She explains that Jesus' encouragement to "fear not" does not suddenly lead to courageous acts, but that we can choose to love, even when we are afraid.  It reminds me of the often quoted "Courage is not the lack of fear, but the ability to face your fear", but it adds something new, something important.  How you face your fear is the key, face it with love.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a psychologist that studied human emotions. She determined that all human emotions stem from two main emotional core states, love and fear.  When I live in fear I turn internal and I worry about myself.  When I live in love I turn out and I seek to understand, empathize, and care for others.  In the world of the coronavirus Jesus is not asking you to charge into the situation as a knight in shining armor, but to trust him enough to turn outward.  Check on your neighbor.  Share your food and toilet paper.  Seek to understand the person who is afraid and hoarding themselves.  The beauty of the kingdom values in these situations is that when we live it, we begin to realize there is plenty for everyone if we are willing to share.

May God bless you with hope, love, and even courage this week!


Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   " this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t

Deeper Discipleship

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is Mark 10:17-22.  A wealthy man approaches Jesus with great respect and asks what he must do to have the abundant life Jesus has been preaching about.  Jesus reminds him of the commandments, but the man claims to have followed them since childhood.  Jesus looks him in the eye and something changes.  Mark tells us that Jesus loved him in this moment, so he invites him to sell all of his belongings, and follow him.  He invites him to become a disciple.  All of the other disciples had to do the same thing in order to follow Jesus.  They dropped their nets, left their family, and followed Jesus.  In this case, the man could not do it.  The scriptures tell us that he had a lot of wealth, a lot he was unwilling to let go of.  He left that encounter disappointed, because the cost of discipleship was too great.  I notice that Jesus starts with the law as the answer to the question, almost giving a basic book answer.  It is only after