Living Fearless In A Fearful World

C. S. Lewis was a heavily influential author and theologian in his own time, whose writing continues to inspire and challenge readers some fifty years after his death. Lewis lived through some of the most turbulent times our globe has ever seen, experiencing the World Wars, the international political unrest to follow, as well as living through the assassinations of many of the most influential leaders around the world. Yet throughout all of writings, fiction and nonfiction, we find a continuous thread of hope. "In such a fearful world we need a fearless church" says Lewis.

How do we live fearless in a fearful world? 
All eyes of our nation are glued to a small city in Charlottesville, Virginia this week where we saw the battle lines clearly drawn: White Supremacy Versus the Gospel. There is no question that the implications of this horrific event are frightening. There is no question that the responses to this domestic act of terror are polarizing and equally terrifying in and of themselves. But will we speak up? Will we speak out against bigotry and hate because Gospel compels us to do so? Will my voice as a white American male in opposition to the stereotype of me even be heard?

We need a fearless church. 
For some, being a fearless church means not being afraid of what racists and hate mongers might do to their beloved city, their place of worship, or their congregational members. For others, we live conveniently far enough away from the fray to become apathetic to it's deep physical and emotional wounds. After Charlottesville, white pastors are asking: are we complicit? Across America, some white pastors are confronting both white supremacy and their own silence. Maybe speaking out is feels like the night Jesus asked Peter to join him walking on the water and fear gripped his heart at the sight of the waves.

"Perhaps Peter wouldn’t have been so scared of going into waters had he not doubted that Jesus would be there with him." - Emily Heath. What are we so afraid of? Have we lost sight of Christ?

Psalm 46 gives three insights that a fearful church must hear today. 
[adapted from sermon by Don Lough Jr.]

1. The Reality of Our Hearts [Psalm 43:23-26]
- In fearful moments, we come face to face with the fact that we are not in control.  

23 Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
    Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
24 Why do you hide your face
    and forget our misery and oppression?
25 We are brought down to the dust;
    our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up and help us;
    rescue us because of your unfailing love.

2. The Resource of Our Help [Psalm 46:1-5]
- In fearful moments we find that God is our refuge though all the earth falls away.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.

3. The Renewal of Our Hope [Psalm 46:6-10]
- In fearful moments, we can live victoriously because God is still at work.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

In such a fearful world we need a fearless church. Do not be afraid!

Pastor Milo



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