This week we have a special guest introduction from Alison Andrew, School Chaplain
Chaplains Corner 22
Do not be afraid…
The phrase ‘Do not be afraid’ is how the angels greeted the shepherds on news of the birth of Jesus, the message of ‘do not fear’ occurs 365 times in the Bible, one for every day of the year.
The book of Psalms, right at the middle of the Bible, has 150 psalms, these are prayers directed to God, covering the entire range and breadth of human experience including fear and uncertainty which were as much a part of peoples lives 3000 years ago as they are today.
Many times, the Psalmist begins with the words, “Fear not”. The Psalms are the Bible’s great soul book, meant to train us to respond to all life situations and difficulties through prayer and trust in God.
One example is Psalm 56. In this Psalm, written nearly 3000 years ago, David has been seized by the enemy (the Philistines) and he starts to become afraid. His response to his fear for his life, his safety and his future is to trust in God. When all around is chaos and uncertainty, he fixes his eyes and life on the constant that is his creator God.
When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
We are certainly in a period of time of great uncertainty, and I encourage you and your children to find certainties in their lives that they can fix their gaze on when all around is changing.
- Remind them of the tree in your yard that remains strong and still and is not affected by empty supermarket shelves or fear of contamination.
- Remind them of the sun that will rise again tomorrow and arc its way across our skies providing light and warmth.
- Remind them of the joy of the family dog, who lives oblivious to all that the rest of the world is concerned with,
and remind them, they are loved, precious and of infinite value to their creator God.
And so I conclude with a portion of the words of Psalm 121, which is our school Psalm:
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.