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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Searching for God: fear

The PSF follows the Ukirk lectionary along with other Presbyterian Church USA campus ministries each year (see our read along with  us).  We are specifically focusing on the Matthew texts in the lectionary this fall.

The second week of PSF we read together Matthew 2:13 - 23 and Galatians 5:16 - 25

From  Matthew we focused on: Now after the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’ (NRSV)

I John reminds us that perfect love casts out fear.  While we seek and see God in places of deep joy and head down those paths, paths that fill us with fear need to be scrutinized.  There is reasonable fear-- of the new, the unknown, the obviously dangerous, etc.  But fear that grows in the pit of our stomach, fear that comes when we know the our well-being (peace) or that of others is threatened is a 'do not enter,' or turn around sign.  Those might also be times and places where we need the support of the Body of Christ/the Church to fight against whatever is not seeking well being (peace) for all of God's children and creation.  So, while we may turn for a bit, we may strengthen ourselves in community to return and witness to God's radical love, grace, and welcome.

Galatians 5 again reminded us of signs to seek:  By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  When we find ourselves experiencing these fruits, we again are experiencing God among us. 

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