Cool thing on Fox today as the Roman Catholic Cardinal from New York brought out the fact that the words, “don’t be afraid” are mentioned 365 times in the New Testament and that is one encouragement for each day. The number of times Jesus says not to worry and not be afraid are pretty stunning, and yet the Cardinal shut down the churches in New York City.
“Don’t be afraid” is the great joyous news that is shouted out to shepherds in the fields and stunned Mary and Joseph and sinking disciples on the water. It is the spoken assurance of God’s great good will to men and the reclamation of the first commandment that God is for us and with us. In times when folks do stuff out of “an abundance of caution” the response is the incautious mercy of God that goes down into death and comes out the other side full of life.
It is easy to tell someone not to be afraid. It is also easy to see all the things around us that are trying to terrify us. There are vast numbers of issues that the virus has brought to the fore. Concerns about missionaries overseas who are locked down and quarantined. Concerns about folks who need surgeries and cannot have them because of virus concerns. Shut in’s further shut in because of visitor restrictions or bans; travel issues that can change literally from day to day. You travel somewhere now but cannot be assured that you can travel home when your done.
Through it all I still like the 365 day admonition of “don’t be afraid”. Jesus also had a good reminder about worry. “Don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own”.
Wash your hands and then fold them in prayer.