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Of Fear and Faith

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Posted 05-21-2011 at 06:56 AM by Jeff Westover

I'm in Denver this weekend for a family wedding - always a moment of great hope and happiness.

I am without my bride, an unusual thing, and one cannot help but reflect back on more than two decades of togetherness while at an event like this.

Parenthetically, the world is scheduled to end today. A group of folks has spent considerable resources the past six months or so telling the world that it all ends on May 21st, 2011...at 6:00pm, no less.

I'm not one to be critical of any faith and I think folks should believe what they want in their hearts to believe. I like the idea of embracing truth wherever it is found.

But I see a consequence for things like this. My conduit with the world is right here, in the unsolicited emails we get from worried or needful folks or in the mail that Santa receives from believers of all ages.

And this week we have received a few emails from folks concerned that we've seen our last Christmas.

I find it odd that many of these emails come from folks who proclaim faith.

In my understanding, fear is the opposite of faith.

I also understand that the coming of Jesus Christ is nothing to be feared.

But these are perilous times and I know better than anyone how settling they can be. This last year has filled me at times with overwhelming concern and even dread. I can barely watch or read much of the news.

So I readily admit to understanding the fear side of the equation.

But I hope my faith can override that.

Believe it or not I think Christmas serves a useful purpose to that end. Christmas is, after all, a matter of faith for many of us. Whether we consider the miracles of Christmas for that which makes Christmas a religious holiday -- or we merely lean on the many stories of Christmas history that inspire us -- there is nearly always an example that can serve from Christmas where faith replaced fear.

In this case, I think of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Can you imagine her fears?

She was, at least by today's terms, not much more than a child when her entire world was turned upside down.

I cannot imagine that she felt overwhelmed by faith in the face of it all -- at least at first. She was, needless to say, human.

Later, as she went "sorrowing" after a 12-year old Jesus who stayed behind in the Temple, worried for his welfare, what was she feeling then -- fear or faith?

She was, again needless to say, a mother.

But she emerged throughout the whole drama as an inspiring figure. Although the very worst of tragedies was imposed upon her we never once hear of her wavering in faith.

Christmas represents to me faith that sustains me. For all the doom and gloom of these past several months it has never once dawned on me that we might not celebrate Christmas this year.

There is no doubt that Christmas might be different, at least for many of us.

But it will still be Christmas.

Of that I have no fear.
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  1. Old Comment
    Christmas-A-Holic's Avatar
    I am like you and not critical of others faith but could not help but laugh at the so called end of the world thing.

    I do feel bad for those who fear it. Fear is real and some can't help it but I have no fear.

    No one knows the time except God Himself. That is why I laugh when man tries to predict it.

    As the scriptures go:

    “ ‘No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’ ” (Matthew 24:36).

    “ ‘You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him’ ” (Matthew 24:44).


    What you wrote is excellent!
    Posted 05-21-2011 at 07:39 AM by Christmas-A-Holic Christmas-A-Holic is offline
  2. Old Comment
    [B]I must confess, when I heard about all of this, I was afraid......But I think it is more the fear of the unknown. As I have thought about it, even though with all due respect I don't think today is the day, if Jesus were to come back that in and of itself has crushed my fear. After all, He is my savior, and why wouldn't I want to actually get to see and be with him ?? [/B]

    [B]It is the doom and gloom aspects attached to the "rapture" that got me upset. [/B]

    [B]CAH put it well. No MAN does know the DAY OR THE HOUR.....Besides.......all this panic and destruction stuff, I don't think that is really the Good Shepherd's style....[/B]
    Posted 05-21-2011 at 07:55 AM by caninemom3 caninemom3 is offline
 
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