Skip to main content

Forms of fear

The psalmist proclaims, " When I am afraid, I will trust in you" (Psalm 56:3). This is what I was meditating on this morning. Of course, my mind wandered to that song "You are my Hiding Place" from Psalm 32 and the chorus, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you."

Fears take on many forms. Children are afraid of the dark, of the absence of their parents. We as adults fear losing those we love through distance or divorce. My greatest fear right now is that my words and actions might discredit my Lord. The past couple of weeks at work have been difficult for all of us. Last week I raised my voice in response to my supervisor. At lunch I wept over my lack of self control. I had read and meditated in the morning on that portion of scipture, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight..." (Psalm 19:14). I was so far off in left field from that. As that day progressed, perhaps my words were better (at least less), but the meditations of my heart were quite another matter.

I had to face the ugliness of my sinfulness and repent. Would I have treated the Lord like that? I truly find hope and encouragement in Luther's theology of "simul justus et peccatore," of the Christian being simultaneously saint and sinner. It prevents me from beating myself up too much. What are the fears you are dealing with? "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you" (Psalm 56:3).


Popular posts from this blog

If and If and If

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 10/1/17 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church. The scripture text is Philippians 2:1-13

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of my favorites. It is full of positive, uplifting theology, like “RejoiceintheLordalways; again I will say, Rejoice (Phil. 4:4 ). It’s a feel-good kind of letter. Today’s passage from Philippians is chock full of great stuff and I could get at least 10 sermons out of

I'm Back & Giving Thanks

Sunday, 9/17, was my first Sunday back in the pulpit after 7 months. I am not completely healed from February's back surgery, but am mostly there. The doctor is letting me work only part time until our next visit. This is the sermon from Sunday, 9/17, preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church.  based on Psalm 103 1:-13.
When I read today’s lessons, I couldn’t take my eyes of of Psalm 103. This psalm is an individual psalm of one who was struggling in a desperate situation, who called out to God and God delivered him.This is my story too.
As most of you know, I had back surgery in Feb. and I too, received God’s deliverance. Following the back surgery, I contracted an Ecoli infection that nearly killed me. I am here today to declare with the psalmist: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits…”
The odd thing about this psalm is that it isn’t a prayer. It is not ad…

Flying Rebukes

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 2/25/18 at St. Timothy. Lutheran Church. The text was Mark 8:31-38. 

Immediately before today’s gospel reading, Jesus had asked his disciples who people say that he is. This is where the light went on for Peter and he made the confession, “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29). Peter certainly gave the right answer and was likely thinking of the attributes given to whoever would be the Messiah. The Messiah, people thought, would deliver them from the crushing rule of the Romans. The Messiah would fight their enemies. Basically, the Messiah was a strong king-like figure.
But, now Jesus fleshes out for Peter and others what that is going to look like. They were completely unprepared for the reality.
“Jesus began to teach them” (v. 31). Hadn’t he been teaching the disciples all along? Maybe, but this was different. This wasn’t teaching about miracles and healing. This is the turning point in Mark’s gospel, marking a new beginning.
“Jesus began to teach the…