Mothers’ Union Devotion Sunday 21st February the First Sunday of Lent
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ John 20. 19
Fear is a very natural practical and life-saving emotion. It is fear that stops us from crossing the road without looking if there is any traffic coming. It is fear that teaches us that it is not sensible to treat a lion cub the same as a kitten no matter how cute it looks. Not all things that we are afraid of are as visible as a double decker bus or a ferocious big cat. Remember the hilarious scene in the Sword in the Stone where Merlin and the witch Mim have a wizards’ duel. Merlin wins when he turns into a germ which Mim catches. She naturally accuses him of disappearing which is against the rules! The fear of catching a bug is enhanced by the fact that you cannot see where it may be lurking.
Over the past year we have had to think about whether the coronavirus might be present on the things we touch and in the people we encounter. This has no doubt altered our behaviour. Things we previously took for granted have become causes of worry. We have therefore been living in a heightened state of anxiety for a very extended period of time. Something our bodies were not designed for. The production of high levels of adrenaline is meant for controlling our flight or fight response not our daily way of living.
It is important therefore to take some time to reflect on how living in a climate of fear has affected your behaviour. To question whether there are ways of reducing the stress living in fear has resulted in. As many of you will have now begun to receive your vaccinations, you may be able to let go of some of the tension you have been hanging onto.
On the evening of the first Easter the disciples were hiding in a locked room, frightened about what would happen to them when they showed their faces back out in the real world. Jesus’ first words were not a reprimand – why are you hiding? Instead, they are a call for peace. Peace be with you. Let go of your fears, let go of your tensions, let go of your worries. Life still goes on. The virus is still present. But we can let go of the fear and live at peace because of Jesus’ presence among us.
Lord, thank you for being the voice of peace in my life. Help me to overcome my fears and rebuild my life. Give me hope and confidence in the coming months as I am able to re-engage more physically in the world. Amen
All my love and prayers