Sunday 11/28

 Luke 21:25-36

“…there will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on Earth distress among nations… people will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world …”

Today’s message from St. Luke’s Gospel is one of many ‘apocalyptic’ images scattered throughout Scripture. What’s interesting is that in virtually all of these apocalyptic accounts, the people of the time are described in the same way … as being in fear. How ironic that in this season of Advent, when we normally await with joy the coming of the Christ child, this reading pulls us back into fear!
Or is it ironic? Let’s look at how fear can impact our lives …
Fear … holds us back from loving and serving our neighbors. Will loving the unlovable or serving the outcast be met with ridicule or distain? Will others doubt my sincerity? Will my efforts be rejected?
Fear … paralyzes us from reaching our greatest potential. What will tomorrow bring? Will my efforts be in vain? Will I be seen as a failure? If I fail, will others hold it against me and for how long?
Fear … separates us from God. Do I even have the right to look at God? I’ve made so many mistakes … how can God possibly love a broken creature like me? How can I possibly be worth redeeming?
As it turns out, fear is part of the very fabric of who we are. Adam and Eve were afraid in the Garden after eating the forbidden fruit. Peter was afraid on the night of Christ’s betrayal. The servant in the parable buried his master’s fortune rather than invest it, out of fear of losing it. Even in today’s world … how many times, and in how many ways does fear interrupt our daily routines?
God’s answer to fear isn’t shame or disgrace. From the humble manger to the humility of the cross, Christ gives us the privilege to look at God and to be one with God. By embracing the promises of Christ, we have the strength to endure our trials, the wisdom to discern the world around us, and the means to be alert and strong. We have the assurance that God is greater than any of our fears.
And we’ve heard God’s answer to fear before! When the shepherds were afraid on the night of Christ’s birth, the message of the angels was ‘Be not afraid! I bring you good news of great joy for all people!’ God’s message is the same for us … both now and in the days to come.
-Todd Hone


Kent Miller - November 30th, 2021 at 4:07pm


Your devotion is so meaningful and inspirational! Thanks for challenging us to live fearlessly.

Mary Miller - November 30th, 2021 at 4:09pm

Thanks for this thoughtful take on “fear” and the reminder to “Be not afraid”!