This week (10 years ago) we reveal the dark side of Sunshine. The shine has worn off a bit. Also there some political discussion where I’m not sure we know what we’re talking about. And we talk about the movie Capturing the Friedmans. The highlight of the show is clearly the visit with Will at the end of the show.
This one is from just last week. But I like it and it seems kind of timely.
I hope everyone had a happy Halloween. It’s fun to have a good scare–to go to a haunted house, watch a scary movie, and laugh and cringe at the unsettling costumes. In the end there’s really more laughing than fright.
But lately I’ve talked with a lot of folks who are finding it difficult not to let fear get the best of them. We’re afraid of Isis. We’re afraid of Ebola. We’re afraid of Muslims, except maybe Malala. And we’re afraid of Christians who aren’t like us. We’re afraid of what the democrats are doing to this country, and we’re afraid of what the republicans are doing to this country. We’re afraid of the Russians, again. We’re afraid of school shootings, and we’re afraid of someone taking our guns. We’re afraid of the poor, and we’re afraid of the rich. And we watch tv and read things on the internet that stir up our fears. And we walk around full of fear and hate and dread.
And it makes sense to be afraid sometimes. We know that Jesus was afraid. He had good reason to be. He was so scared of being crucified that night, that he sweat blood as he prayed for a way out. But his actions that night were not based on his fear. John writes that love casts out fear. And that night Jesus didn’t act from a place of fear, but from a place of love.
And it’s hard to get that. We get Peter. We get picking up a sword and striking out at our enemies. We get wanting to send our bombers to the Middle East to kill them all and let god sort them out. But Jesus tells Peter to put down his sword. He tells his disciples, he tells us, to love our enemies and pray for those who hurt us. And maybe we try. But like Peter again, this time walking on the water, we want to follow Jesus, but the storms are so scary, and we pay attention to them instead of to Jesus, and we sink.
It’s not easy. Before he was beat and crucified, Jesus himself prayed for the strength to do what had to be done. So we’re in good company struggling with our fear. But it’s important, I think, to join Jesus in letting it go. Jesus, who on the cross prayed for those who put him there, Jesus who, as he did throughout his ministry, offered love and grace to those who didn’t deserve it and didn’t even ask for it. That Jesus calls us to follow him, through our fears, to live out the love that he demonstrated, the love he’s offered us though we didn’t deserve it, the love we’re to bring to the world, even, or maybe especially, for those who scare us.