Day #56: Why is Everyone so Afraid?

"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him!

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Luke 12:4-7, RSV



We live in an era when everyone seems scared to death. They are scared of the economy failing, and of the stock market falling. They are scared of out of control politicians. They are scared of running out of food and heat and ammunition. They are scared of dying. They are especially afraid of dying.


Now, I think we all can understand a reasonable fear at the uncertainty of death. My wife and I have lost all of our parents in the last three years. Death is difficult and weighs heavily on those who have lost loved ones... but I still do not believe that anyone should be controlled or overwhelmed by their fear of death. I especially do not believe that we need to allow others to control or overwhelm us with a fear of death. Yet, as I write this, I see that exact thing happening, as people are so focused on their fear of death that many now seem to be too afraid to live. But, how could that happen?


It seems that people in positions of power have assured them that they are going to die if they don't do as they say, and even if they do do as they say, they still might die because there is a terrible disease out there. And you know what? There is a terrible disease out there and some people have died from it. Some of the people who died were afraid of dying, and some of the people who died were not afraid of dying - the disease just doesn't seem to care. Now we are told that if we will just get a series of shots that may or may not protect us from the disease, and if we will wear at least one face covering (though two might be better) and if we will just stay away from family, friends and strangers, that we may or may not get this disease. Also, it would help if you would be afraid, to be very afraid, for that seems to be the best solution...


but this is not what we were created for! We were created to live for as long as we are alive, not to live as if we were already in a box six feet under ground.


I think this, at least in part, was what Jesus was trying to get across to the people of His day. He wanted them to know that they didn't need to fear those who could only kill the body, but they were instead to fear Him who could cast you into Hell after you were already dead. In other words, Jesus was telling the people of His day (and the people of our time as well) to fear God. Then they wouldn't have to fear anybody or anything else. 


Then they could live! 


And we can too!


I think this in part is why we need to read the Bible; So we can learn that if we fear God, we won't have to fear anything else. It's a pretty good deal, when you think about it.


Today's reading is from Luke chapter 12. It has all sorts of good information about fearing God, so that we might learn to live the life we were called to live.