Do not be afraid — I am with you!
I am your God — let nothing terrify you!
I will make you strong and help you;
I will protect you and save you.
Isaiah 41:10 (Good News Translation)
In the pages of the Bible we hear the same straightforward message hundreds of times: “do not be afraid.” This is certainly good news. Sometimes though, fear and uncertainty can simply overwhelm me. In those moments, I wonder if my fear actually just exposes a lack of faith and trust in God. There is no shortage of things to fear these days, a global pandemic, civil unrest, systemic racism, a contentious (to put it mildly) upcoming election … of course that list could go on and on.
I heard a young dad vulnerably express his fears in an interview this week. He said, “Maybe there’ll be another spike, and my business will get shut down even further. And there’s been nights laying up at night in tears and late nights with the two of us yelling and screaming at each other or yelling at the kids or just staring at the wall because we don’t know.” (NPR interview - Matt Simonds, Albuquerque NM)
We don’t know. If the last year has given us any kind of certainty, it is that what’s coming next is uncertain. So how do we, as people of faith, live with courage and hope during these uncertain times? Can we really be “unafraid” as a child of God?
This fall at Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church we are digging into questions like this in our worship series: Unafraid: Hope in Uncertain Times. Jesus faces difficult questions, system-wide injustices, fierce critics, and a successful attack on his very life. We’ll look to Jesus’ wisdom, action, and promises in the face of these fears. We’ll consider these current moments in the life of our church, city, nation, and world. We’ll name and face this fear head on, and find the courage and hope to move forward in faith together.
I am eager to worship with you, share the gospel together, and find renewed faith in the community of faith.