Maybe it’s because I’ve crested past the age of 45 or perhaps because I joined that illustrious group of cord cutters some years back – either way, I bought an antenna for my TV. In part, so I can watch Premier League soccer (football, ahem…) on Saturday mornings, but also to catch the local news.
In this season, you’re bound to catch the political commercials on repeat. Over and over. If you’ve seen them, you know the one I’m talking about:
Grandma is home alone at night in her nightgown. The news is on the TV. She hears a noise outside. She dials 9-1-1. However, as an intruder breaks through her door, grandma reaches a recording instead of a live operator.
Fear. It sells. It motivates. It produces action. So much of what is understood to be true in this kingdom comes from a position of fear. Yesterday, I came across this tweet from Pastor Brian Kruckenberg, Lead Pastor at New City Church in Phoenix.
The message here is clear, but it is one which we, even as leaders, may easily overlook in the roar of life as it is in this earthly kingdom: Fear Not.
Of course, it has been said before that fear not is one of, if not the most, repeated commands in the Scriptures. Trite as it may be, depending on the translation, there is one fear not for each day of the year.
Trite? Perhaps. True? You better believe it.
Brian’s tweet is such an important reminder to us that God’s Kingdom remains the ultimate paradigm shift that ever will be.
A Gentle Shepherd instead of an overlord. A mustard seed. The Leaven. The Pearl of Great Price. His Kingdom upends the systems and structures of this present kingdom. Thankfully, this includes the present and pervasive element of fear.
Isaiah 41:10 is one of those incredible “fear nots,” and it is a timely word for this particularly fearful time;
…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Are you seeing an uptick in fearfulness in your congregation as the months of social distancing drag on? There is back-and-forth progress with the coronavirus numbers that produce ambiguity for employment and income, online instruction versus classroom instruction in a few days, and more. What about fearfulness in your own heart right now?
This reminder to fear not is a timely one, is it not?
And we are not unique in our propensity to internalize what is happening around us and to be afraid. It is precisely what our enemy would have us do. But, the just shall live by faith.
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther penned what I am convinced is the richest hymn ever written. When I hear it, I am instantly moved. When I sing it, I often well up with tears.
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
A mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Fear not, amen?
ICYMI: A little more about Arizona Capitol Project. Our mission is to build a relationship between the shepherds of God’s Church and the government: from our Congressional Delegation in Washington, D.C., leaders in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches, and the county and municipal government officials throughout Arizona. Read more…
New & Noteworthy.
- Honoring God. In keeping with our new approach to how Center for Arizona Policy engages with the local church, Arizona Capitol Project will offer a brief, very nonpartisan video for any churches wishing to share it. It’s entitled, Honoring God. The 2020 version will become available in a few weeks. However, for a quick look at how our friends in Iowa used it in 2018, click here.
- Connect with Arizona Capitol Project on Facebook.