‘Do Not Be Afraid’

Last Sunday’s sermon (you can watch it here) was supposed to be about the power of forgiveness to unburden ourselves and truly received Christ’s peace… it became more about the unburdening peace that comes with forgiveness as a whole… and its lasting impression on me was about fear.  Many years ago somewhere I wrote about fear saying that the fact that almost every angel visit to a human begins with “do not fear” makes me believe that the greatest lesson heaven has to teach earth is that fear is the biggest factor that keeps us “locked up in tombs” rather than experiencing abundant life. 

I saw took this picture on Monday walking over a bridge over the Boise River where someone had thrown a “Road Closed” sign into the river. I’m sad someone threw the sign in but it inspired me to think about “baptizing” the roads we think of as “closed”. In other words – being freed from the power our fears have over us.

Today… I came across this 2017 quote from Dr. Brene Brown in an interview on the “crisis of disconnection” most of us are experiencing (and I remind you this was 3 years before COVID). 

“But If I had to identify one core variable that magnifies our compulsion to sort ourselves into factions while at the same time cutting ourselves off from real connection with other people, my answer would be fear. Fear of vulnerability. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of the pain of disconnection. Fear of criticism and failure. Fear of conflict. Fear of not measuring up. When we ignore fear and deny vulnerability, fear grows and metastasizes. We move away from a belief in common humanity and unifying change and move into blame and shame. We will do anything that gives us a sense of more certainty and we will give our power to anyone who can promise easy answers and give us an enemy to blame.”

There are lots of enemies to blame right now… for everything.  COVID, the 2016 election, Social Media, the Media as a whole, consumerism, despotic authoritarian leadership, vagrants living off of welfare, coddled children who didn’t learn to work…

We have created a lot of enemies… but all of them are us, standing within our faction of sameness, pointing outward and naming that our problem is out there.  Little of it is us daring to look within ourselves and name what we are afraid of… and seek to heal those hurts and accept that even hurt and broken we are loved and lovable… Brene Brown says it better:

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging does not require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”

(to catch the whole interview from which I pulled these Brene Brown quotes, read here:

Do not be afraid… you are God’s beloved, and I love you too.

About Andrew Kukla

I am the proud father of four wonderful children, loving husband to Caroline, brother to three mostly wonderful sisters, and son of two parents that gifted me with a foundation of love and freedom. I also am a Presbyterian pastor and former philosophy major with a love of too many words (written with many grammatical errors and parenthetic thoughts), Soren Kierkegaard, and reflections on living a life of discipleship that is open to all the challenges, ups and downs, brokenness and grace, of a chaotic and wonderful life founded upon the love of God for all of creation.

Posted on April 27, 2022, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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