Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for You are with me…
Killing in our streets, our schools, our theaters and, once again, in our churches.
War in the world, our communities, our homes, and our hearts.
Got a plan in place for the next disaster, threat, attack, Armageddon?!
See something? Say something!
Are they kidding? Fear is rampant.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
The opposite of fear is not courage but love.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
Torment. You bet it does. People are going to choose fear, but you and I don’t have to.
Love never fails – why not choose love instead?
Believing and receiving.
Forgiving and giving.
Gentleness and peace.
Helping and healing.
Caring for the other – even the stranger.
We have nothing to lose.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?… What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:31-32, 35-39
Consider this, Beloved: Jesus has already conquered sin and death. We of all people have nothing to lose by choosing love instead of fear – except, of course, torment. As Christians we are truly only ever threatened with resurrection (as it’s been said). What can anyone do to us?
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:7-8
Pray, beloved. Pray for all the saints. Pray for one another. Pray for your enemy. Pray, that love may run rampant in your heart and mine as it does in the hearts of our brethren at Emanuel AME.
(Jesus said,) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”