June 19, 2021

Faith Can Overcome Fear - Proper 12

 The readings about faith overcoming fear should be a great comfort to us in this time of constant reports of sickness, death and lockdowns. As Christians we have a long history of hope and faith in the face of fear:

  • David overcame his fear of death by protecting his sheep from lions and bears
  • Jesus overcame His fear of death by surrendering His will to the Fathers will
  • Paul overcame his fear by taking the long view of the joy of  faith and eternal spiritual life
  • Readings challenge us to go deeper in our faith relationship  with Jesus and take this longer view

1. Fear often rules our lives

Fear forces us to:

  • Avoid conflict, even lie and be nice to others
  • Protect ourselves and strive for control
  • Work for the food and physical comfort we need to avoid pain

We fear because we do not trust others. We feel we need someone to take care of us - a father, mother, friend. We need someone to save us from our fear. The Good News is we have a heavenly Father and Jesus / Holy Spirit who loves us and seeks to help us. But like our earthly father they know they must give us the freedom to choose to reject their love and walk away for this love to be real.

2. Many people have forgotten Rule #5

We live in a post-Christendom and post-truth culture which has lost its Biblical roots and sense of order. Fathers Day is a good time to check out what the Bible teaches us about parents and fathers. Men in my lifetime have often had no Biblical teaching on being a father. Men have been under almost constant criticism for their mistreatment of women and children. Lucille and I have been shocked by the number of abused women seeking healing ministry. Men need to recover their real identity as fathers that have a self-sacrificial love that “… always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres” (1 Cor. 13.7).

  • Mary’s birth - a protector of women
  • Rule # 5 - honour mother and father - your protectors and teachers about God
  • Only Commandment with a promise and threat - a spiritual law (not recommendation)
  • Point is parents are co-creators of God’s kingdom - authority with responsibility
  • Family is under attack as both men and women question their identities and priorities

3. I have a Father, He knows my name - song

This song always moves me as it reminds me that even if our earthly parents fail us ,Father God is always with us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit - the Comforter. The father in the Prodigal Son parable saw his son coming when he was - “a long way off.” This is the self-sacrificial love of a father who always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Good News is God is with us and watching us

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