February 23

Matthew 17:6-9

“But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’ And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.” vss. 7-8

The scriptures consistently report that divine encounters are a scary proposition. Certainly that was true for the disciples on the mountain of transfiguration! The voice that was meant to assure them instead terrified them, and only the gentle touch of Jesus could take away their fear. We know what it’s like to be afraid! These are scary times, and every day there are happenings and events that leave us shaken and frightened. Some understand climate change to be an existential threat and worry about the long range effects of global warming. Others are distraught by the increasing polarization of our nation. The rhetoric of the alienated seems divisive and dangerous. Weapons are being stockpiled–some look forward to using them! On a personal level most of us are beset by anxieties and fears, we’re constantly aware of health issues and relational problems. A lot of us are concerned about children and grandchildren–we’re afraid for them! Whatever the reason none of us are immune to fear–and all need that gentle touch of Jesus and a word of encouragement. “Get up, rise up from your fear, and don’t be afraid to live!” It’s in the presence of “Jesus himself alone” that we can continue our journeys in confidence. Perfect love wipes away fear!

Thought for the Day: What are my fears? 

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