Friday, August 3, 2012

Daily Office Reflection: Do Not Be Afraid

Cross 21, 2009, jfd+
Psalms 69:1-23(24-30)31-38 * 73; Judges 5:1-18; Acts 2:1-21; Matthew 28:1-10

Do not be afraid, Jesus says to Mary Magdalene and one of the other Mary's that populates this narrative. He appears to them as they are rushing back to the others to tell what the angel at the tomb told them: Jesus is risen, do not be afraid.

Fear is such an innate part of all us. Some are better at hiding it than others. Some are better at "dealing with it" than others. But fear resides in us and manifests itself in a myriad of different ways: small and large, overwhelming and with minimal impact at different times in our lives. 

Being afraid can take many forms. We can be fearful of someone's reaction to some news we have to break to them. We can be fearful of having enough money to pay the mortgage or rent. We can have fear about having enough money to buy food so our family can eat something nutritious. We can be fearful of becoming unemployed. Of losing friends. Of being alone. Of dying.

Do not be afraid, Jesus says. The angel appearing to the Marys says it too. Fear can be a motivator to some, pushing us to do that which we think we cannot, for fear of what will happen if we don't.

Jesus, and that God-sent angel, is asking us to trust: the opposite of fear. To trust in God. To trust that no matter what happens, whether we become unemployed, or lose a friend, or cannot afford what we think we should be able to afford, or that we will that no matter what happens to us, we will be alright. That no matter what comes our way, because of the love we see exuding from Jesus to the Marys, (who are exemplars of us), no matter what happens, we will be okay. For God's love is greater than all our fears, and can, and does, bring us through all that we face in life.

Fear will always be with us, a part of us. Trust is something we have to work on quite a bit harder. But when we allow that trust to rule our lives, and not the fear, we are forever changed for the better.

Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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