Monday, February 8, 2010

Scripture On Sundays - Do Not Be Afraid

Have you noticed that people of faith seem to handle adversity better than others?  It's all in our mindset.  We have a perspective that helps us through the rough times.  I'd first like to share the lyrics of a song we sang in church today.  The name of the song is "Here I Am, Lord".  It is the Lord speaking in the verses and the people in the refrain.

I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin, My Hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My Light to them?  Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.  Is it I, Lord?  I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if You lead me.  I will hold Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain, I have borne My people's pain.
I have wept for love of them.  They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone, give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak My Word to them.  Whom shall I send?


I, the Lord of wind and flame, I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.  My Hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide, 'til their hearts be satisfied.
I will give My Life to them, Whom shall I send?


The first reading from the prophet Isaiah recalls the vision of his calling.  At the end, you will see where divine things are not fully comprehended.  I'd also like to say that in these times of political correctness, we Christians have a tendency to be rather reluctant, or timid to state our beliefs, for fear we will be perceived as being intolerant of others.  However, we are taught to love everyone, even our enemies.  What we may disapprove of, is not the person themself, but of their behavior, because it is counter to God's teachings (hate the sin, but love the sinner).  We know what God has taught us about how we should respect life, and also to use our sexuality in the way He intended it to be used.  So, in the way that Isaiah was called by God to spread His word, so like him, all Christians must not be afraid to speak out, because in our hearts, we know God's teachings are right, because it's all about love.

Isaiah was not afraid   

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple.
2 Above Him were the seraphim (angels), each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
3 And they were calling to one another:  "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory."
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
9 He said, "Go and tell this people: " 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'
Isaiah 6:1-8

St. Paul was not afraid

Then in the second reading St. Paul reveals what he's seen and heard and why spreading the gospel is his calling, even though he originally persecuted the Church before his conversion.

1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the Word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.
6 After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep (died).
7 Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
8 and last of all He appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11

The Calling of the First Disciples, who were not afraid to become "fishers of men" 

1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around Him and listening to the word of God,
2 He saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.
3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a little from shore. Then He sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon (Peter), "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."
5 Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets."
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"  (He must have felt undeserving)
9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,
10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will become fishers of men."
11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him.
Luke 5:1-11

And so we must be prepared, and unafraid, to share with the world the love and kindness, and the greatness and righteousness of our Lord.  The world is sorely in need of it, whether they realize it or not.

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