Thursday, June 18, 2020

June 18 – Thursday prior to Proper 7

Matthew 10:5a, 21-33

Fear. What is it?  FEAR is "False Evidence Appearing Real". And Courage?  Courage is fear that has said its prayers.   
In most marriages, there is the need for both the nerd and the free spirit. The Free Spirit will jump without thinking, The Nerd is always thinking, always double-checking, always asking questions. “And then what?” “And what if that doesn’t work?’ “Have you ever considered this happeningOr that happening? 
There is much for us to fear these days. Our farmers must now wait as crops mature and grow. But how about the weather? You cannot control it. And the markets. You cannot control them either.
Whether it’s the student starting out for the first time to new ventures or the couple contemplating the next phase of their lives the future can be a little bit scary, a lot more scary - a combination of frightening and alarming.  
Some of our fears are legitimate and justified. You can fret and worry about your family, your health, your employment, your future. And now a global pandemic. Need we express fear as in genuine concern – yes…Panic, of course not.
At times, our fears are simply unreasonable. Paranoid.  Irrational. Uncalled-for. Fear can make us feel powerless. You can talk all you want about the futility of fear. It does not make fear go away.
Your feelings are sometimes deeper that any rational arguments. So how do we deal with this emotion of fear? Faith that deals with this basic feeling is the cure for fear.  Address your fears. But trust also in Christ. It is faith that conquers fear. Faith conquers fear because…
Faith is certain we shall overcome – Fear God and you lose the fear of judgment for sin. Jesus tells us, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.” Vv. 24-25 
Pain, prison, and death are not the greater dangers after all. But disobedience and conformity to this age are the great dangers. Jesus loves you so much He was willing to suffer for you, that you might have faith to suffer with Him.
When He suffered for you, He gave what you needed to suffer with Him. He gave you forgiveness for your sins. "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Matthew 26:28
Your guilt before God is gone. God is on your side. And, since God is on your side, what can man do to you? Jesus has loved to suffer for you, that you might have faith to suffer with Him.
Fear cannot be totally eradicated. It cannot be stripped from the human psyche. Fear is a part of our make-up. It’s a question of what and whom do you fear. Trust Christ not man. When Christ is feared, all other fear disappears.
O Lord, whose gracious presence never fails to guide and govern those whom You have nurtured in Your steadfast love and worship, make us ever love and adore Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who livers and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Consider the Birds of the Air, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

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