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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Fear not

Vieraskieliset / In-english
20.1.2021 13.20

Juttua muokattu:

20.1. 13:46
2021012013463620210120132000

These are fa­mi­li­ar and safe. They were spo­ken by an an­gel of the Lord to the shep­herds on the field. ”Fear not, for be­hold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the pe­op­le.  For un­to you is born this day in the city of Da­vid a Sa­vi­or, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10–11.) This por­ti­on of the gos­pel ac­cor­ding to Luke ma­kes us pau­se at the most im­por­tant mat­ter eve­ry Christ­mas.

I think we all have ex­pe­rien­ced fear at some point. Fear is a na­tu­ral emo­ti­on. The cau­ses of fear are pro­bab­ly dif­fe­rent at dif­fe­rent ages. As a child I was af­raid of dark. I re­mem­ber one day when my brot­her and I were al­lo­wed to go with our mot­her to see our grand­mot­her. Ear­ly in the mor­ning mot­her told us to start wal­king to­ward the big­ger road with bus ser­vi­ce, and she would soon fol­low us. It was dark, and the out­door light on­ly threw a small circ­le of light on the yard. We did not dare to le­a­ve that circ­le but re­mai­ned stan­ding there, wai­ting for our mot­her. We nee­ded to walk ne­ar­ly a mile along the track of hor­se-drawn sleighs. We could not keep up with mot­her and had to turn back half­way to the road. Mot­her al­so mis­sed the bus and had to come back for her bike. I was hu­ge­ly di­sap­poin­ted.

As a yo­ung man I was af­raid of ma­king my­self too vi­sib­le to ot­her pe­op­le. I was on­ce as­ked to pass around the col­lec­ti­on bag at ser­vi­ces, and that see­med very frigh­te­ning. As a yo­ung fat­her I was as­ked to keep Sun­day School, but I found that task ab­so­lu­te­ly im­pos­sib­le. I did not dare to keep even one les­son. I was troub­led by my fai­lu­re be­cau­se I felt I should not re­fu­se a task. But there is the ot­her side: we should not for­ce any­bo­dy to do things that make them re­al­ly an­xi­ous and frigh­te­ned.

At some stage I was al­so pet­ri­fied whe­ne­ver I had to ap­pe­ar pub­lic­ly be­fo­re pe­op­le. I was af­raid of simp­ly tel­ling my name. I was wor­ried my voi­ce might crack or tremb­le when I wan­ted to say so­met­hing. At work, ho­we­ver, I had to com­mu­ni­ca­te with pe­op­le, and I gra­du­al­ly got rid of my fe­ars. Prac­ti­ce helps. I know ot­her pe­op­le al­so have si­mi­lar fe­ars, and I would like to en­cou­ra­ge them by sha­ring mine.

Then there is the fear of de­ath. We may have thought about the ways we would not want to die. I am per­so­nal­ly af­raid of drow­ning. I do not know why. Could it be that I fell in­to a ditch full of wa­ter as a child and pa­nic­ked? I just know that wa­ter is not my ele­ment, though I do go swim­ming. God’s word com­forts us and tel­ls us that God al­so pre­pa­res us for de­ath. And being a be­lie­ver, I know there is not­hing to fear. We can trust that God has de­ter­mi­ned the time of our de­ath. It is enough to re­main be­lie­ving and have pe­a­ce with God.

What things com­fort us if we feel fear? Many por­ti­ons of the Bib­le are com­for­ting. Some pe­op­le have said they draw com­fort from the Psalm about the Good Shep­herd. There are many ot­her por­ti­ons of the Psalms that pro­vi­de en­cou­ra­ge­ment. The speec­hes and inst­ruc­ti­ons of Je­sus si­mi­lar­ly al­le­vi­a­te fe­ars: “Fear not, pe­a­ce be un­to you, I am the light, God so lo­ved the world, I am the way, the truth and the life”. I of­ten al­so find con­so­la­ti­on in the songs of Zion. They are like small ser­mons that cre­a­te se­cu­ri­ty.

What have you ex­pe­rien­ced while lis­te­ning to God’s word? Have you felt that God through His gos­pel has com­for­ted you and gi­ven you strength for yo­ur jour­ney? I have of­ten no­ti­ced that if I have not been ab­le to at­tend ser­vi­ces for a long time, I feel a great ye­ar­ning to hear God’s word and to meet child­ren of God.

Fear of sin is a good kind of fear. Sin se­pa­ra­tes us from God. Child­ren of God bat­t­le against the inf­lu­en­ce of sin. We are not strong enough to ma­na­ge in that bat­t­le on our own, but God gi­ves us strength. There is a song of Zion that talks about the fear of gro­wing we­a­ry on the jour­ney of faith. Yet that same song con­tains the com­for­ting mes­sa­ge of the for­gi­ve­ness of sins that was­hes our he­arts and souls clean and ta­kes us to our des­ti­na­ti­on, the he­a­ven­ly home.

We are al­so re­min­ded and en­cou­ra­ged about the po­wer of God eve­ry Christ­mas when we sing our dear Christ­mas hymn:

”From heav’n abo­ve to earth I come

to bear good news to eve­ry­o­ne;

glad ti­dings of great joy I bring,

whe­re­of I now will say and sing.”

SHZ 21:1

Text: Vesa Kum­pu­la

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

You will find the ori­gi­nal blog post here.

4.3.2021

Kuka voi sa­noik­si pu­kea Her­ran voi­ma­te­ot, kuka voi hän­tä kyl­lin ylis­tää? Ps. 106:2

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