Sunday, July 12, 2009

Grim Fairy Tales 5.

Well then back to the Grim Fairy Tales.

One can hear many sermons which are meant, I am sure, to be encouraging. In it will be either explicit or implicit statements that a real Christian will never be afraid. It is the thought of many that being afraid is a sin. While it is true that one sins while being afraid due to having an identity of a descendent of Adam being afraid is not in itself sin. But it is a Grim Fairy Tale to say that being afraid itself is a sin.

Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. ESV

Here we have the account of Jesus praying to the Father to remove what he was about to endure from him. Jesus was so in agony and yes even afraid that he was sweating what appeared to be blood. Now would we say that Jesus was sinning being in that state of mind? Not at all. It was a reaction to being in a fallen world. In addition he was enduring that for others. There was no self centeredness in Jesus everything he was about was for others. In answer to his prayer an angel came and strengthened him however, for our good he went on to endure the beatings, ridicule, shame of the cross and being forsaken by his Father while bearing the sins of the world.

Psalm 56:1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
2 my enemies trample on me all day long,
for many attack me proudly.
3 When I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?

Living in this fallen world each of us will experience times of being afraid. In times of economic turmoil where it appears that those in government and business is out to get us, and they are, financially the future can appear very dim. The enemy is always seeking our hurt and has many people who delight in attacking those who love Jesus. As I said previously we will sin during times of being afraid. Thoughts will be of ourselves. Perhaps self pity and questioning God. “What did I do to deserve this?” But then as the psalmist said we will trust in God. Placing trust in our Lord and Saviour Jesus we will cease being so captivated by our being afraid.

Reflecting on the promise of forgiveness of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit in our baptism we can venture forth in confidence. We can know we are protected and that our Comforter is in us to guide and direct. We can also reflect on the last time we received Jesus’ body and blood to know that he is there strengthening our faith and leading us to life everlasting. We can read in his word or call to mind that he is working all things together, somehow, for our good and will not allow our faith to leave us.

In the name of Jesus. Amen. †

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

We can count on Him, even when we are faithless. He will remain steadfast.

He does come to us, from outside of ourselves and our fear, in the Word and Sacraments.

Thanks for the encouragement!