We have nothing to fear but fear itself

May 14, 2006

Original Post Date:  5/14/2006

I heard a wonderful sermon today by my rector.  In a few days it should be posted here, under May 14.

My rector, the Rev. Ed Bacon, spoke on one of his favorite topics- the joys of love and what he considers the opposite: fear.  He often says that the opposite of love is not hate, but fear.

It got me to wondering as to whether the reverse is true.  I think I have decided that it is close, but not quite exactly opposite, at least for me.

I have been fearful that the "religious right" will try to force me back into the closet.  I have been scared that they will take over the church I love, the government that is supposed to protect me, and, in doing so, to a certain degree, take over my life.

This has been, and continues to be my fear.  I have not been able to just "love my enemies" – the religious right – through this fear.

What I have learned to do, though, is to trust.  I trust that the God of justice and mercy will not allow hatred and intolerance to rule the day.  I trust that God has a plan to ensure that all of God's creation will be treated fairly and equally in the fullness of time.  My rector also often says that we need not to work so that we can get to heaven, but to work so that we can bring heaven to earth (I love the Our Father – "on earth as it is in heaven").  I trust that God loves me and my brothers and sisters enough to enable this to happen.

My trust is based on hope.  My hope is based on my love of God.  Through this hope and trust and love of God, I can then look past my fear and say, "yes- you on the religious right are my brothers and sisters and I love you."  I do not have to feel threatened.  I do not have to be concerned.  I can rely in trust on the Lord my God to move through the Spirit to enable the arms, hands, and feet of the Body of Christ to do the good work that needs to be done to make justice roll down like waters, and I can embrace those across the divide who cannot trust in God so fully even though their theology seems to threaten my existence.

I do think that the opposite of love is fear.  But I think that loving through fear requires trust, at least for me.

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One Response to “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”

  1. sheila Says:

    i heard that too!


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