ECCLESIOLOGICAL ETCHINGS May 3, 2023 Tomorrow, we begin a new study based on the book by Josh Scott entitled, “Bible Stories for Grown-ups.” In the introduction, Scott writes, “Fear is the enemy of curiosity, and as a result, one of the greatest limiters of our transformation.” This has really spoken to me lately. I can’t watch the news for more than five minutes without hearing about an event that, if we really dug down to the core, was someone or some group responding out of fear. You would think the human race would have evolved enough to notice how the really stupid, painful, destructive, and unjust happenings in history were rooted in fear. Sometimes it is the intentional work of those who manipulate the fears of others, even manufacturing false fears. In other situations, it is people’s fragility and lack of emotional/spiritual tools that leave them unprepared for how to deal with fear. In Psalm 34:3-4, we read: I sought the Lord and he answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to God will shine; their faces are never ashamed.
When we choose to focus upon God, to look at God, we are doing more than seeing a generic outline of the divine. To look to God, through the lens of Jesus, is to visualize love, hope, peace, joy and mercy. The more we center ourselves on such things, the less likely it is that fear will be able to sway our thinking and take control of our lives. And even when there is an event that is truly frightening, we are more likely to choose a response that is rooted in the things of God instead of reacting in a way that is unhealthy and even destructive toward others.
As Jesus is the visible sign of you, O Amazing God, bring my focus upon him and the life he revealed. It is not necessarily easy, but I believe there is a way of living that dramatically changes the power fear has over my life. This is my prayerful request for this day and for each day that follows. Amen.