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Fear - Monday Musing, August 10, 2020

Dear Church,

Fear. Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. What do you fear?

Some have a real fear of contracting the coronavirus. For those who are immunocompromised or have other underlying health conditions that place them in a high-risk category, the fear is well-founded. Given this global pandemic with infection statistics still at an alarming increase, some of us are exhausted from our fears of COVID-19.

Although this global pandemic requires us to be physically distanced as a community of faith, maintaining our spiritual health means that we cannot let that lead to social isolation. The Rev. Dr. Kate Winters captures this sentiment of fear and isolation beautifully in the communion anthem last Sunday. Here is the first verse:

How do we stay in communion

in these days of living far apart?

How do we share what we know each other’s longings?

How do we share what we hold inside the heart?

In this time of isolation,

midst the loneliness and fear,

look to the love and actions of Jesus,

forming the bond that forever keeps us near.

Maintaining distance is good for our physical health, but staying in closer contact with our community of faith requires a concerted effort. To that end, we continue with Sunday worship online, I share my musings on Monday, the Gateway Spirituality group meets on Tuesday, the Prayer and Devotion group meets on Wednesday, and the Bible Study group meets on Friday, all outside the church under the tent near the labyrinth.

As I preached last week, no one knows how the feeding of the five thousand really happened. But I do know that being fed physically and spiritually is not going to happen if we are not present. Worship is worship, virtual or in-person. It happens because we participate in it.

Amid this fearful time, we must not let fear get the best of us. Remember Paul’s words to the Philippians, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”

May we overcome our fears and maintain both good physical as well as spiritual health during this lingering pandemic.




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