But Jesus immediately said to them:
“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
There are few instructions or commands found in scripture that occur anywhere near the frequency of “Do not be afraid”—“Praise the Lord” and “Rejoice” being the only real competition. It doesn’t take too many trips around the sun in this life to discover why. There is a constant bombardment from this broken world to be afraid. We are regularly invited to allow anxiety and fear to shape our lives, define our choices and determine our relationships. Scripture, time and time again, tells us there is another way.
But like many things God asks of us, it’s hard. It’s hard when you have been hurt, misunderstood, or lied about to be more defined by hope rather than by fear. It’s tough when the news reports of violence and threats of violence are constant companions in our journey to be courageous and not afraid. It’s hard when doubts and struggles steal our peace and our sleep.
Be not afraid.
Here at University, we believe that hard questions are worth asking, that all people are worth loving, and that God’s grace is for everyone. I am excited about God’s future for our church, and I am certain there will be moments where we will be challenged, confused, and invited to fear.
Jesus has promised to go with us. We need not be afraid.