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Fear: Not on Jesus’ Watch

Posted on January 28, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013


Please read the first few paragraphs thinking about my best Jack Webb imitation.

Friday, January 4, 2013, it was sunny in Cortez. My family went back to Colorado Springs for winter/spring school semester.

Sunday, January 20, it was cold in Cortez. I presented the “Pastors’ Report” at the annual meeting of our congregation.  In it, I state that one of my goals this year is to take care of myself by being sure to consistently take time off.

Monday, January 21, the Western Slope had perfect weather. Into my sixth driving hour of the day, almost home from Montrose, after a Committee on Ministry meeting, I realized I had not taken a day-off since the day before the family went back to the Springs. In fact, it had been an extremely intense time.  Pulling into the driveway at home, I was greeted by two dogs that I had not seen but for a few minutes over the last week. So I decided to take the next day off.   In preparation I went to the library and checked out two books and a DVD.

Tuesday, January 22, big surprise it is still cold in Cortez.  I went for my daily walk early and included a pastoral call so I would have the rest of the day.  After taking my time over lunch and a good book, I popped my DVD into the player.  I have to tell you, to me this is the apex of time off.  Watching TV and putting my feet up in my recliner in the middle of the day, unprecedented.

The DVD was Psycho.  You remember the Alfred Hitchcock film about the Bates Motel that includes one of the most famous scenes in movie history.  The incredibly beautiful Janet Leigh gets murdered in the shower with a piercing high-pitch soundtrack accompanying each blow you don’t actually see land.

Tuesday, January 22, it is sunny outside, but I don’t care.  LazyBoy and I have merged into one. I even let Kiwi dog lay on my lap. I am enjoying myself to no end.  I am ogling Janet Leigh…I am half-way studying Hitchcock’s camera angles and filmmaking techniques…I am amazing at actor Anthony Perkins performance…

SCHREECH SCHREECH SCHREECH

The high pitch music accompanying the shower scene has startled me awake. I open my eyes in the midst of the shower murder!

“AAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!!” I scream!

The dogs jump up and start fussing!

I swear I can actually feel the adrenaline pumping through my body!

I am on my feet in an instant!

I swivel my head around.  The dogs look up at me with question marks in their eyes.  I take a deep breath.  It’s only the movie.  Embarrassed, I let the dogs out back.  I can’t look at them. I laugh at myself, and rewind the movie to where I had nodded off.  Sat down, steeled my nerves and enjoyed the rest of the show.

FDR once reassured the nation, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”  I never understood the true meaning until sunny Tuesday, January 22, 2013.

One of the words I am focusing on this year is “courage.”  I thought of it during our study several months ago of the scene where Jesus walks on water to the Apostles in the midst of a storm.  He yelled out, “Take courage, it is I. Do not fear.” – Matthew 14:27

I keep coming back to that, as you know how much I tend to worry. Yes, many things may startle us.  Events of our lives may make us feel edgy.  Circumstances, like driving in a thunderstorm or driving snow may make us tremble, but fear, not on Jesus’ watch!  He has conquered all enemies, including the last enemy, death.

We have nothing to fear, really, because we belong body and soul to a faithful Savior who promises us that the Father in heaven will always protect and guide and care and love us forever and ever.

THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM

Q. 1. What is your only comfort, in life and in death?

A. That I belong—body and soul, in life and in death—not to myself but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who at the cost of his own blood has fully paid for all my sins and has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that he protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that everything must fit his purpose for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

 

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