Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 36: Do Not Be Afraid

"And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching." 
-Mark 11:18

“For they were afraid of him.”

The leaders of the time were afraid of Christ Jesus. Their fear of losing power, fear of losing their followers, fear of change, fear of the unknown guided them to crucify God’s only son – to kill him.  Fear clouded all their judgment and pushed them off the cliff to murder.

They could have stopped and listened to the Good News of Christ. They should have paused to see who Jesus really was. They would have if fear hadn’t stood in their way.

We’ve all heard the saying, “shoulda, woulda, coulda.”

Now I’m sure they justified their actions to themselves and their peers. We can all find reasons or excuses whether they be legitimate or not.  We’ve all been afraid. We’ve all let fear at one point or another stop us from experiencing an adventure, saying ‘I love you’, opening up to one another, to seeing the world.

I could be at home right now telling people, “I could’ve done this amazing year in the Philippines assisting entrepreneurs grow their business, experiencing a new culture, and learning what life is all about, but I was afraid of this, this, and that and passed on the opportunity. I was afraid of the what ifs and unknowns.”

Life is full of unknowns – one being the unknown of when we will die. But Jesus through his resurrection has shown us that there is eternal life. “Everyone who lives and trusts in me will never die.”

Fortunately, I trusted in God. I found him by my side feeding me courage to pack up and travel halfway across the world to have an experience of a lifetime – to live fully. Jesus, also, found courage and power with God at his side to say, “I am the resurrection and I am life.” With God by his side he looked fear in the eye and said I am not afraid.

How many times in the Bible do we come across, “do not be afraid.” Fear holds us hostage from the possibilities, opportunities, connections, love, relationships, and experiences that God desires us to be a part of so we can share the incredible news, to come and see.

“For you, Lord are my hope: you are my confidence, O God,” proclaims Psalm 71 in today’s readings. When we are not afraid, we can hope. When we are not afraid, with confidence God can walk with us out of darkness and into the light of the world. When we are not afraid we can be more open to forgiveness, connection, love, and life.

For God asks us to not be afraid and we should respond, I am not.

Ashley Cameron is 23 years old and from the Diocese of Virginia. 
She greatly enjoys assisting farmers and small entrepreneurs grow their business through 
micro-loans by serving at the Episcopal Development Foundation 
of St. Mark's in the Episcopal Diocese of Santiago, Philippines.

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