When Fear Isn't a Bad Thing!

A reading for Wednesday, April 8, 2020: Mark 12:1-11.

Let's talk about fear. I was talking to a colleague in ministry the other day about the times we are living through and the idea of fear. This pastor reminded me that fear is not always a bad thing. The Bible talks about the Fear of the Lord, meaning obedience to God. We do what God commands sometimes, simply because it is God that commands it and we should at least wonder about what it might mean for us to go against what God commands? I don't think that means we are afraid of God, but perhaps should take seriously our vocation as one of God's people.

In today's lesson from Mark, we see the disobedience to God. The example Jesus gives is of a vineyard owned by a landowner. The tenants refuse to do what we assume was agreed upon. They go to great lengths to be disobedient, even killing the landowners son when he comes to make things right. Jesus is using a dramatic, tragic example to illustrate what happens when God's people refuse to do what they have been commanded.

Many of us are at home, working differently if working at all. Our children are learning at home, again if at all. We are being asked to do so by our government and by our healthcare system. Could this too be the Fear of the Lord? Is it not an example of love your neighbor as you love yourself? Is it not Romans 8:28: "We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." Could it be that God commands us to do our part in staying home and caring for others in such a crisis as a witness to God's compassion and care for all of creation?

Sometimes fear isn't a bad thing, when it comes to what God commands.


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