November 3rd, 2021
Among thin places where God is found in our own lives, there are places of fear. Although it is a rarely embraced feeling in life, fear is one of the normal human emotions.
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain…
[John Keats, When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be]
One of the English Romantic poets, John Keats, was a poet much possessed by the fear of death. He was afraid that he would die young before he had a chance to make the most of his poetic talents. Like him, we all have our own areas where we feel fear in our lives. Yet, one thing that is clear and obvious to us is that we all live with our own fears in ourselves. It was the same with Jesus’ disciples. They were afraid of the Roman Empire that was colonizing them, and the Pharisees around them seeking an opportunity to kill Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
John 16:31-33
However, Jesus told his disciples that there was nothing to fear because, as God was with Jesus, Jesus and the Holy Spirit would always be there within and for them. Although Jesus was about to be captured and crucified, he knew that he would have conquered the world as he had already. Today, Jesus is telling us not to fear, but to trust in God and God’s Salvation. Let us stand firm on the promise of God and proclaim, “Jesus Christ who has conquered the world is with us!”
May the steadfast love of our loving God be with us all the time.
Pastor Woo.