Fear and Faith

A reading for Wednesday, February 26, 2014: John 11:45-54

The raising of Lazarus from the dead was a turning point in the gospel of John. Such a miraculous sign caused many to believe and many to reject Jesus. Those that witness the miracle come to believe in Jesus. The council is called together out of fear that Jesus would become too powerful and would become a threat to their power base and position of privilege with Rome. There are two reactions to the very same sign. One is faith. One is fear.

How often are faith and fear two sides of the same coin. More than any other phrase found on the lips of angels as messengers of God, and even Jesus himself is "Do not be afraid." Perhaps it is more than just a comfort, but an urging of faith.

Having just returned from a mission trip to Guatemala it occurs to me that even there fear and faith are close together, two sides to the same experience. Calling takes us to places outside the comfortable and even the safe. There is danger when we travel. We can even become afraid of the strangeness of another culture. What if I get sick? What if...?

Yet there is also faith. In mission, we must rely on the hospitality of others to get us through the day. We might even discover a reliance of Jesus as our prayers for peace become more urgent. Faith is made alive when we see the signs of God in Jesus Christ no matter where we are, but especially in the signs we see along the road of mission.

When we return to the familiar we can tell others of the experience. That's the purpose of signs and wonders. To share with others what we have seen... Fear and faith are so often found together.

"I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see."    -Amazing Grace


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