What are you afraid of? Many of us share common fears like spiders or snakes or heights, or perhaps more esoteric fears like alektorophobia (fear of chickens) or globophobia (fear of balloons) or even lepidopertophobia (fear of butterflies. Really?) For many of us though our fears hit a lot closer to home – we are afraid of loneliness or losing our job or our children’s health or future. As we get older we face the many fears and uncertainties of a world that can seem pretty scary at times.
I’ve been thinking about fear in the context of our theme for this school year “New in Christ” based on 2 Corinthians 5:17. I’m writing this in the immediate aftermath of the terrible mass shootings in Las Vegas. That was a very stark example that there certainly seems to be a lot to be afraid of in a broken, sinful, and seemingly randomly violent world. But I have some good news for you – we worship a Savior who has overcome death and the darkness of this world. Even amid terrible loss and senseless violence I’m reminded of the lyrics of the song “Made New” by Lincoln Brewster: “You are my salvation – I will not fear. You’re the strength of my life – I won’t fear.” As Christians we don’t have any easy answers or pat explanations for the carnage in the world around us. But we are not a people of doubt or fear because on the cross Jesus Christ made us new in Him forever. The world may take everything from us, even our life, but it can never take away the eternal inheritance we have in Jesus. As the words of 2 Timothy 1:7 remind us “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”