Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29: Luke 3:15-22
We are baptized in fear. From the mundane, like the Seattle Slowdown, to the existential, ‘terrorists are coming across our southern border by the thousands’—our frightened cultural language washes over us every time we turn on TV news, pick up a paper, listen to NPR. We are educated to be afraid of certain people.
To say nothing of our own capacity to drum up fear. Built on a structure of shame, I’m not good enough, smart enough, creative enough, pretty or handsome, strong, powerful. I am unlovable and I am unforgivable. We are awash in fear.
“But now, says God, I who created, formed, redeemed and called you. DO NOT FEAR. I have called you be name, you are Mine.”
Do you believe this sentence is for you? Do you believe that you are more than an accident of history and biology, that you exist because of the intention of God?
This is the redemptive ground we stand on today to hear the good news of the gospel: In Jesus Christ, we are redeemed. We are bought out of bondage to empire, to our own petty fallenness, depravity and sin. We are called Beloved.