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Showing posts from August, 2019

Sermon, "Unafraid: Fear and Death," 2 Corinthians 4:7-15, Isaiah 40:27-31, Psalm 46

Sermon 8/11/19 2 Corinthians 4:7-15, Isaiah 40:27-31, Psalm 46
Unafraid: Fear and Death*
We’ve been talking about fears for the last several weeks. We started about thinking about fear and security, our need to feel safe and the ways we can let that need close us off from anyone and anything too different from us, if we forget that God’s perfect love casts out fear. We talked about fear and failure, and the pressure we put on ourselves when we mistakenly believe that our value as a person is derived from our supposed successes. We thought about fear and loneliness, and how we can perhaps best fight off our sense of isolation by focusing instead on making sure others are not lonely. We talked about fear and change, and how change sometimes feels like grief, but though weeping lasts for the night, the joy of God comes in the morning. Today, we’re concluding our series by talking about fear and death. I know, a light-hearted wrap-up to this series! But that’s the thing - we human beings have…

Sermon, "Unafraid: Fear and Change," John 5:2-9

Sermon 8/11/19 John 5:2-9
Unafraid: Fear and Change*
How do you feel about change? Do you like change? Dread it? What changes have come your way that have brought pain - or joy? Most everyone knows the saying, “The only constant is change,” suggesting that things are always changing. But change - especially significant change - is also an incredible source of fear and anxiety for some folks, maybe most of us at one time or another. Fear of change connects with our fear of failure, our fear of disappointing other people.  I’ve been thinking this week about significant changes I’ve experienced in my life, and how I reacted or how others around me reacted to that change. I think about changes in technology that have happened in my lifetime, in yours. I grew up with computers - even if they were Ataris! I first had a computer in my classroom in 3rd grade. But my mom, a retired nurse, never used a computer herself until she was in her 30s. Suddenly, it seemed, computers, which she’d mostly avo…

Sermon, "Unafraid: Fear and Loneliness," Psalm 139:1-18, Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, 4:9-12

Sermon 8/4/19 Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, 4:9-12, Psalm 139:1-18
Unafraid: Fear and Loneliness*

The chapter on loneliness in Adam Hamilton’s book Unafraid begins with this quote from Sue Borne, the producer of a documentary called The Age of Loneliness: “We’re all a bit scared of loneliness - of being alone. Of being left. Of not being loved. Or needed. Or cared about. “Lonely” hits a spot of fear in all of us even if we don’t acknowledge it.” Hamilton describes loneliness as “the feeling of sadness that comes from a sense of social isolation - from feeling alone as though we have no real companions with whom to share our life.” (115) Are you a lonely person? Sometimes? Often? Does thinking about being alone, lonely, make you anxious and afraid? Loneliness, and an accompanying fear that we will always be alone and feel alone is something many struggle with, and it isn’t always a fear that’s easy to assign to people. What I mean by that is that sometimes it is the people who seem like they’re ne…