“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” –I John 4:18a
As we have seen and heard in our news media there has been a lot of fearful things happening in our world. The tragedies at Gilroy California, El Paso Texas, and Dayton Ohio send shivers down our spines and make our hearts race in fear. The threat of war we hear between our own country and Iran gives us shutters to think what could happen if this escalated. The divide that is clearly seen and felt among all the peoples of our world causes us to shrink in fear of what this means for our nation and for ourselves. There is a lot to fear. Violence, division, uncertainty, pain and suffering in our world causes us to be scared to go anywhere, to do anything, to connect with fellow humans in grace and peace.
But this is not what Christians are about. We are not to be a fearful people who react in human ways but are to live in Christ and react in his ways. We are to live by faith not by sight. We are to look to perfect love in Jesus to drive out fear from our hearts and live in a way that we are not scared rabbits hiding from those that would prey on us but to be bold and ready to face what scares us. The author of I John says that there is no fear in love. Maybe this is the key. Maybe if we set about, as the church, to love more, to aid others to love more, to not be afraid but to lift up Jesus in love to our world, to individuals that need that love and to an anxious world that needs it, maybe fear could be driven out. Maybe we could learn to connect with and get along with each other despite our differences. Maybe we could be a little more civil and a lot less hurtful with each other. Maybe if Jesus’ perfect love was known and celebrated by all then fear would have no foothold.
This is the way of Christ and he calls us to embrace it and live it daily. I believe if the church acted like the church then this perfect love could be shared: in how we help each other in crisis, in how we care for one another with compassion, how we love one another even if we cannot see eye to eye. Maybe if we Christians lived perfect love in Jesus we could help our world see that perfection in Christ and drive out fear in this love we bring and live with everyone.
Perfect love casts out all fear. Strive for and work for this goal in your life and in the life of our church so fear will find not foothold in our world but love will.
Peace and Blessings