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In the Gospel of John, we read how Jesus helped the disciples through their fear:
“So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord."
Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room and challenged them beyond their fear. Can Jesus challenge you beyond your fear?
We have certainly all experienced fear this year with the pandemic. As adults, we have the skills to handle the “fear of the unknown,” but how are our children? None of us knows the outcome of this pandemic, and none of us could have predicted that over 250,000 Americans would lose their lives because of this unseen virus.
As we approach the holiday season, it will be more important than ever to bring as much family tradition and ritual to our families as possible. Jesus provided hope to the disciples in the upper room, and he can provide it to us, too.
Start planning how you will incorporate prayer and worship into your family this holiday season. Don’t let the fear of the virus, the most common fear we all share, control how you incorporate faith into your family celebration. I know the CDC recommends we not gather in person, but that doesn't deter us from seeing each other virtually or finding other ways to worship with our faith community.
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A great quote that I have come to love recently is “Let your faith be stronger than your fear!”
This could become our mantra for the near future. The disciples needed to overcome their fear, and Jesus provided the peace they needed. He can provide that same peace for us, too, if we allow him to. "Peace" doesn't mean we are comfortable or confident, but it means we trust in Jesus, and we know he has a plan. And, even though we don’t know the outcome, we walk by faith trusting in our lord.
I hope this line from Psalm 23 in the Bible can provide you with some hope and peace: “Shepherd me O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.”