Do not be afraid
If you love me; you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever. … Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. — John 14:15-16, 27
The world seems to have gone awry. There is no place that is not filled with anger, hatred, food insecurity, war, viruses, corruption and violence. It seems that all we have is fear itself. If all we have in the world is fear, what do we do to overcome that fear? The statement of Jesus in John’s Gospel is simple. What we desire, what we need to hold on to, what gives meaning to our lives is to fill our whole life with the peace that God gives us through the Holy Spirit. If our lives are filled with the Spirit, all the products of fear — worry, angst, insomnia — and fear itself, have no power. In his book “Lost in the Cosmos,” Walker Percy suggests that we should look at the evil that is going on in the world as an “I Love Lucy” comedy, with no power and little meaning. What has meaning is a life whose advocate fills us with the wisdom and the power of the Holy Spirit. The battle with fear can only be won by the power of God. And we do not need to be afraid, for God will defeat evil.
Lord God, in this time of Lent, let us strive to fill our whole selves with the power of the Holy Spirit to give us the peace that enables us not to be afraid of evil. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
Shalom: The Way to the Promise of Peace
Written by Catherine Gordon