Hope or Fear: Embrace Hope
r(Posted September 23, 2031)
“Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.” ― Maya Angelou
As we make our way through the beginning of Autumn, I’m aware that not everyone shares my love of the season. Some people look out their window, view their leggy flower beds with plants gone to seed, and it makes them think of all that they loved about summer coming to an end.
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Others like myself become excited with every leaf that’s starting to show scarlet instead of green. It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess. For some, Autumn brings on a fear of the bite of frost and ice. For lovers of the season it heralds a hidden renewal, a time when all the wholesomeness of sun and water and warmth is sent down as nourishment into the roots of the trees, to guarantee a hope-filled new growth in Spring. The other reward is that the leaves show us their real colors of gold, red and maroon – the colors that were there all along, but we camouflaged by the green chlorophyll that the first frost erases.
Either way, periods of unknowing, periods of change like the ones we’re living through, and not just in arena of the natural world, demand our attention. We must choose to embrace one or the other – hope or fear. There are times these days that we feel as if we are girding ourselves for a battle against the fears and anger of others, and even our own. As people of faith, how do we prepare ourselves when we go out the door? God has given us answers in the Gospel passage attributed to Paul -- Ephesians:
Be Strong in the Lord
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…
Weapons of Mettle
This Sunday my husband Gary Kriss who had prepared this message to present before hurricane Ida cancelled the service, will be speaking to us about “Forging Weapons Out of Mettle.” I will enjoy for a change being part of the congregation and listening to his unique perspective on choosing hope over fear in our daily lives.