Tuesday 5th May
Fear is a very powerful emotion and it is easy to attribute these feelings to things we do not like. At its worst fear of the ‘other’ can lead to hatred, distrust and a cycle of destruction. When we are isolated and alone it is easy to begin to look for others to blame, yet in this present crisis there are not others to blame. No one has all the answers and as research progresses our scientists and medical professionals will find a route to protect us and enable life to return to a semblance of normality. As Christians our lives should be an example to those around us and as John’s Gospel suggests we should be signposts of the Kingdom for those who do not yet know God.
John in his first letter to the early church reminded them that despite persecution and danger of death they had something much stronger as an antidote to fear.

‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.’

God demonstrated his love for us in Jesus and he is the pattern of our love for others. Fear is a normal human reaction to things we don’t understand but as Christians we know that God loves us and that his love will drive fear away. Paul writing to the early church in Rome understood this only too well:
‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.’

As you pray today ask God to fill you with his love and ask that his love might enable you to bring hope to those you know. Pray too for those who are fearful and those who continue to find the present crisis a time of anxiety.

Father, imprint upon our hearts,
that because we belong to you,
no one can pluck us from your hand.
And because we fear you,
we need fear no other.