Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Do not be afraid.

Do not be afraid. I do not know how many times this phrase, or phrases like it are in the bible, but according to one source it is 70. I do not know whether this is true, but I do know that time and again the bible encourages us not to be afraid.

These are days when it is hard not to be afraid at times. There is the pandemic. There is racial unrest. There is an inability to discuss anything of substance with someone if we disagree with them.

But we cannot allow ourselves to let fear paralyze us. Rather, we need to call upon the Holy Spirit to send us the gift that overcomes fear: courage. Too often fear is used to do things that are wrong.

We fear crime, so we might look the other way if the police do something wrong. We fear not having money, so we might take what is not ours. Parents who are afraid for their children might become overprotective. We can allow fear to make us treat people unlike us in a bad way.

But Jesus tells us that we need not fear. In fact, he tells us we should be bold. Salt is bold, and we are the salt of the earth. We must not let fear hold us back from sharing the love of the gospel. We cannot allow fear to hold us back from doing right.

There are all kinds of fear. Some of them are needed, so we do not get hurt. I would not advise, for example, throwing fear aside and charging a mother bear who has her cubs near her.

But when fear causes us to be silent in the cause of right, we need to pray for courage. Jesus encourages us to recognize that we should not fear the world, for Jesus has overcome the world. We need not fear suffering, for the suffering of Jesus leads to salvation. We need not fear death, because Jesus’ death leads to eternal life. Today, do not be afraid.

Let us pray.  

Dear Jesus, you tell us not to be afraid, and you show us why we should not be afraid. You have overcome suffering and death, and you are always with us. Give us today the gift of courage. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Music: Cheezy Piano Medley by Alexander Nakarada



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