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Pentecost Ponderings X

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.Luke 2:10

Fear, it seems, is a base instinct. It comes out of the natural sense of self-preservation. In the right doses it can tell us that standing in the path of an oncoming train, or poking a bear with a stick may not be good for our long-term health. Some animals entire physiology is built around fear. You may not know this, but among the menagerie of pets we have at our house, we have two domestic rabbits. A rabbit is a prey animal, and right down to its cute little nose, it knows it. They have oversized ears and eyes that can detect threats coming from all directions, a nose that is far more sensitive than a bloodhound, and large oversized legs to allow them to flee instantly from the many threats around them. The hitch is, sometimes they can be so overwhelmed with fear, a paralysis can set in, and all those natural gifts are for naught. In an organized society, fear can have some truly detrimental effects, and people can do some truly horrible things to one another if we let fear take over.

As I have said before, the opposite of faith is fear, not doubt. There are so many passages in the Bible where God tells us, “do not be afraid” but very few, if any, that chide us for our doubts. Waking up this morning, the news screams of headlines drenched in fear. Yet really, we live in the most peaceful time in human history. In some ways, I take it as a comfort that we do genuinely mourn for a handful of lives lost in acts of violence in the world. I have to remind myself that 70-75 years ago the world was a very different and far more vicious place. FDR once said “the only thing we have to fear but fear itself.” I think his advice is as strong today as it was when he first uttered them in 1933. Fear can lead ordinary people to do extraordinarily evil things. Demagogues have for thousands of years capitalized on the fears of people, but in the end that course inevitably leads in destructive directions.

I take it as a matter of faith to look past fear, and to see the good in the world. I take it as a matter of faith to wake up and to try to not let fear get the better of me. God has called us to be a part of the world, to not be afraid, to love our enemies, to realize our neighbours are every human being on the planet. My words of optimism for you as I get ready to go on vacation!

Yours in Christ,

John

Upcoming Events

  • Summer Worship Continues
    • Our summer worship services continue on every week, Sunday mornings at 10:30am. We have a number of events coming up this fall, but in the meantime, enjoy the summer, take time to rest and recharge!
  • Congregational Membership Classes
    • If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am hoping to run a membership class in the next few months. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.

Church Office Hours

This week, as Wendy and I will be heading on vacation toward the end of the week, our normal office hours are  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9am to 3pm.

Office Hours During Vacation Times
The office will be closed from July 29th to August 12th, re-opening on August 15th. For Pastoral Care Emergencies only, please contact the Rev. Clint Mooney at 403-686-4067. For all other inquiries, please leave a message at 403-249-1721 and we will return calls on August 15th.

Upcoming Vacation Times

  • Wendy will be taking vacation time from July 29 to August 14th
  • John will be taking vacation time from July 31st to August 14th.

Pulpit Supply

John will be leading worship for most of the summer except for these dates:

  • July 31st – Rev. Clint Mooney preaching
  • August 7th – Rev. Clint Mooney Preaching
  • August 14th – Wendy Knudson Preaching

If you do not wish to receive these emails, please email me at revjohn26a@gmail.com

 

 

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