Freedom from Fear

As we begin the season of Lent during this month of March, it is appropriate for us to focus on “Freedom from Fear,” which is the title of my message series for the Lenten season.  We are dealing with so many fears in our world and in our nation.  People fear the threat of terrorism.  People fear the arrival of immigrants and refugees in our country.  People fear the security of our nation deporting them or keeping them or their loved ones from coming to our country.  People fear the policies and new laws of our government.  People fear what will happen if we don’t change the laws and policies of our former government administration.  People fear the threat of climate change.  People fear what will happen to our economy if we focus too much on environmental concerns. 

We struggle with everyday fears.  We fear not having the income we need to pay our bills.  We fear losing our job.  We fear that a catastrophic illness will drain our savings.  We fear the classroom bully.  We fear not getting a date.  We fear not finding a lifelong marriage partner.  We fear not finding the calling that the Lord wants us to have.  We fear for the long-term well-being and faith of our children and grandchildren. 

We struggle with personal fears.  I happen to be claustrophobic and the thought of being stuck in a small space makes it hard for me to breathe.  Others of us are afraid of heights, or the dark, or spiders, or meeting new people.  A radio preacher I often listen to recently pointed out that the number one fear of Americans is having to speak in public (a fear that preachers face every Sunday). 

And then there are the existential fears: the fear of the unknown, the fear of losing quality of life, the fear of death, the fear of what happens after death.

Throughout the gospels, Jesus tells his followers or those around him, “Do not be afraid.”  During Lent, we will look at times where Jesus says, “Do not be afraid” and discover what fears Jesus is releasing us from today.

Here is the schedule of the “Freedom from Fear” series:

March 5 – First Sunday of Lent – “Freedom from Fear: Fear of Inadequacy” – Luke 5:1-10

March 12 – Second Sunday of Lent – “Freedom from Fear: Fear of Circumstances” – Mark 4:35-41

March 19 – Third Sunday of Lent – “Freedom from Fear: Fear of Death” – Mark 5:35-43

March 26 – Fourth Sunday of Lent – “Freedom from Fear: Fear of the Unexplainable” – Matthew 17:1-9

April 2 – Fifth Sunday of Lent – Pulpit Supply (Pastor Mark on Spring Break vacation)

April 9 – Palm Sunday – “Freedom from Fear: Fear of Conquest” – John 12:12-16

April 16 – Easter – “Freedom from Fear: Fear of the Unknown” – Matthew 28:1-10

My hope and prayer for us is that this message series will help us to find real freedom from fear in our Savior Jesus who died and conquered death for us.

Pastor Mark

 

Mark Bennink