Given By Rev. Jerry Stinson

During this post-election period, people are dealing with many emotions. Some can be immobilized by fear. Others are mobilized to offer hope and inspiration for a better tomorrow. Rev. Stinson speaks of our living in fear since Sept. 11th, 2001. America was propelled into two wars, increased its use of torture, established the Patriot Act, and increasing mistrusts Muslims, refugees, and other foreigners. We are living in fear rather than in hope.

It is not just violence causing us fear. There is the economy, health care, class divisions, racial tensions, immigration, and personal fears. This fear has reached a new level in the wake of 11/8/2016. It has been globally transformative. Our reading from Luke reminds us that fear was also present during the Christmas narratives. When the angel speaks to Mary, he tells her to not be afraid. Joseph was afraid as he and Mary seek shelter in the stable. The three Magi were afraid after talking to King Herod. King Herod was afraid. Even the shepherds were afraid.

It is the choice made while afraid that is important. We can be immobilized with fear or chose to continue on with courage. There are four suggestions for us today. Understand that God is always by our side to give us inner strength. Second is gathering together as a community so we can be there for each other. Next is being faithful to the teaching and example of the Jesus of history. Lastly, seek the courage to live in the present. Hopefully, we can be lured on by wonder, not immobilized by fear.