We all woke up and greeted this day spinning 1,000 miles per hour. We stretched and yawned while also shooting around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. We are moving with unimaginable speed at this moment, imperceptibly captive on this intergalactic Tilt-a-Whirl. Don’t forget the only thing keeping you alive and breathing now is the oxygen trapped within earth’s troposphere, which at this latitude is around 6 miles thick, or half the distance from Flemington to Lambertville. The earth’s water and food systems are also more vulnerable than ever before as they are stretched to feed more people than ever before; the news is overstuffed with sensational stories of failed or failing states, impeachment proceedings, potential wars and conflicts, incurable and deadly diseases carried by simple mosquitoes…
Is it any wonder we love to be frightened so much this time of year? The horrors of Hollywood and classic ghost stories have nothing on the reality of living in this strange, wonderful world. Halloween costumes are an escape from the everyday, ordinary things which scare us and which we cannot escape. As disciples of Jesus, we are invited to put on Christ, to clothe ourselves in righteousness, and to put on the full armor of God. I know from experience that things go better when I attend to the disciplines of the faith which ground and center me in Christ.
Over the last few months, in conversations with people inside and outside the church, and with people with and without faith, I’ve heard a consistent emotion come through each and every conversation: fear. We are all frightened of something, and fear is driving us to seek comfort and security in places we feel we have more control rather than in surrendering our fears to God in prayer and seeking to find ways to bring peace to others, too. I’m going to be exploring fear and faith in a sermon series all month long, and walking alongside everyone here as we together seek a life of love, where there is no fear, and where we are even able to cast out fear from the people we meet with each day.
Do not be afraid!
Grace and Peace,