Lent Day 30: Do Not Fear
But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
In our world today with so much that we have seen, and what we see today, and now unsure about what may be coming tomorrow, it can cause us to be fearful. But our word today assures us we do not have to fear, because the one who formed us and rescued us holds us secure.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; 6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. 7 A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. 8 You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
As Psalms 91 reminds us, no matter when or where we may be attacked, whether it is by day, night, or noonday the Lord is with us. He is truly our rear guard and forward guard, in all of life. He has given us his Spirit to assure us of his ongoing presence.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Brueggemann helps us to be at ease in the Spirits coming to baptize us. “A lot of silliness is taught about the Spirit coming in baptism. But what the Spirit does is visit our lives—our persons, our bodies, our imagination, our money— with the freedom of God, so that we are unafraid in the world, able to live differently, not needing to control, not needing to dominate, not needing to accumulate, not driven by anxiety.”
He continues to encourage us with the benefits of living as unafraid people to help the world whole.
- “The unafraid are open to the neighbor, while the frightened are defending themselves from the neighbor.
- The unafraid are generous in the community, while the frightened, in their anxiety, must keep and store and accumulate, to make themselves safe.
- The unafraid commit acts of compassion and mercy, while the frightened do not notice those in need.
- The unafraid are committed to justice for the weak and the poor, while the frightened see them only as threats.
- The unafraid pray in the morning, care through the day, and rejoice at night in thanks and praise, while the frightened are endlessly restless and dissatisfied.”
Today let’s take hold of the fearless life that God in Christ has offered to us, called us to and because of Christ’s resurrection we can claim as our own.
“In a world of fear and anxiety, you empower us to live lives of wholeness, lives that make the world whole and turn it right side up. Embolden us as those who know that they are called by your name. Amen.” Brueggemann
Brueggemann, Walter. A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent. Kentucky: Westminster John Know Press, 2017.