Learning Not to Fear the Future


Thursday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time

Rom 8: 31b-39; Lk 13: 31-35

Dc. Larry Brockman

FDR once said: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”.  That sort of sums up Paul’s message to the Romans today.  Christians in Paul’s day were living in fear, fear of the things that Paul mentioned-  anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and the sword because Christians faced persecutions from the state, and because the Jews experienced a severe put down from the Romans.  Yes indeed, they were experiencing fear.     

You know, this is an age where some of the things Paul mentioned all of a sudden seem to be taking on some meaning for us.  After a 60 year period of post-war prosperity, we now hear of impending dooms that instill fear, perhaps real, perhaps not.  But, there is no question that high unemployment, the massive bailout, the debate over health care- all of these things are instilling a sense of uncertainty in us- an uncertainty that could lead to fear.  Likewise, Religion is being attacked today- and that is evident in the breakdown of the family, declining public moral values, and increased crime.  This too, is something that we might experience some fear about.  And this is a fear that is new to most of us because we weren’t around during the Depression and the Great War.   And certainly, we have not lived in a society where Christian values have been under attack like they are today.   

But as Paul clearly states, fear is not something that we, as Christians, should become victim to.  Because nothing, absolutely nothing, not even fear itself, can separate us from the love of God.  Yes, we may have to suffer here in this age if our public society becomes less tolerant of our moral code and if our economy crumbles around us.  But in the midst of that suffering, we need to trust in God because all these perils count as nothing if we trust in God.  If God was willing to sacrifice his only son for us, and raise him up to everlasting life, and if we believe Jesus promise that we who believe will be raised on the last day, then we have nothing to fear.  Because God will certainly do whatever is needed to take care of us too. 

So let us take away a message of hope and joy from Paul’s message this morning- joy over the knowledge that nothing can separate us from the love of God.  Love, indeed, casts out all fear. 

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