Be Not Afraid

October 28, 1997

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

Edward Munch, a late nineteenth century Norwegian artist, painted a disturbing picture, "The Scream". In it, a man, wide-eyed with fear, clamps his hands over his ears to shut out the scream that reverberates from his open mouth and echoes in wavy lines to the four corners of the picture. What is his reason for this scream?

    the horror of war?
    the shock of grief?
    the frustration of anger?
    the hopelessness of unresolved conflicts?
    the hurt of broken relationships?
Maybe all you need to do is fill in your worst nightmare and you will transport yourself into the picture with the scream emanating from your lips.

Fear is as natural as breathing for frail human vessels but fear need not overwhelm us. Jesus said: "Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." (John 14:27)

Prayer: Faithful friend, free us from the fears that follow us through the nights and through the days until we rest in you in perfect peace. Amen.

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Kenn Stright <>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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