Christmas is almost here! Thinking backing over the last few weeks, when have you felt the most peaceful? When have you felt the most stress or anxiety? As you think ahead to the coming week, what are you looking forward to? What, if anything, are you dreading? Offer those things into God’s care.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1-31). Imagine how the disciples are feeling in this moment. Jesus has just predicted Peter’s denial…
This dialogue sermon between Dr. Matt Hook and Dr. Marty Fletcher delves into the psychology of fear and anxiety through the lens of the scriptural text, “perfect love casts out fear.”
Someone living with an anxiety disorder (or any medical condition) that makes being in loud, dark areas or separated from family unendurable does not feel welcomed. This is not a commentary on the theology or religiosity of the “turn up the volume and dim the lights, no children allowed” movement. The concern here is how the Body of Christ meets those who would dare join in for worship.
“I’m not as concerned about who is occupying the White House as I am about the condition of our country.”
In the context of National Suicide Prevention Month, consider these words on being the salt of the earth.
Why? Why shouldn’t we get all kinds of anxious? Don’t you know what’s happening in the world? Don’t you know what’s happening in my life?
“Despite my excellent undergraduate education preparing me for Christian ministry, despite my thoroughly-enjoyed seminary training, I don’t remember any discussions on how to provide pastoral care during a plague. Of all people, though, Christians must be conversant in the language of mortality, fluent in the evils of death and the beauty of resurrection, articulate in tragedy and triumph. What else is the rhythm of the church year for, but to practice us in the art of living the pattern of Kingdom life, of Christ-life, of birth, death, and resurrection? We must talk of these things if we have any hope of acting on them, putting hands to ideas. We must all find our inner Mother Teresa and touch the dying – even if you choose to wear three layers of gloves.”
We have a hope, and it is not rooted in our circumstances; it is rooted in the plan —in the very identity—of God. For those of us who struggle, who live under gathering clouds, it is not a promise that God will answer all our questions. It is promise that He will not change on us. God’s character is eternal, his promises are safe, his nature is to love and his plans for us are good. “What is of God will last. It belongs to the eternal life. Choose it, and it will be yours.”