Revere the Lion, but embrace the Lamb
The first scripture words that were on my heart after I heard and watched the story unfold in Boston.
“Fear not” continued as broadcasters spoke words of terror out onto the airwaves.
“Fear not for I am with you.”
God is reminding me — reminding us — that we do not face danger or terror or hate or evil alone. We stand within the shadow of God’s powerful hand.
God continually repeats, “Fear not,” as we are disoriented from the violence that rips through our lives. The shock waves shatter our understanding of our world and we cannot see God’s protective hand upon us.
Fear begins to govern our actions. We see shadows as dangerous. We see strangers as potential threats. We seek the Lion of Judah to bring swift and aggressive justice into our world and right the wrongs. We seek to regain that sense of safety and security that we had moments before we were shaken from the explosive violence around us.
Just weeks ago, we celebrated Easter. We celebrated the victory of God.
God incarnate chose not to take on a broken and fallen world as the Lion of Judah but as the sacrificial lamb. God chose not to fight the violence with violence or the hate with hate. God chose love. God chose to die upon the cross for you, for me, for the world. It is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.
Even though we know the truth of God’s love, we begin to doubt that love can win when we are overwhelmed by the brokenness that continues to break upon us.
It is not out there somewhere, it is right here. It is in our streets, in our homes, and even in our hearts. It hurts. We react out of our pain and our loss. We seek to find something we can control, something that can steady our lives that are reeling from the impact.
Then I remember the disciples in a boat with the storm raging around them, Jesus asleep in the bow. When fear overwhelmed them, they turned to him and he stilled the storm. His words were, “Peace, be still.”
I know I am powerless to bring about change on a grand world scale, but I serve a powerful God, a God who stills storms, who takes on death and wins, a God who call us to love the world as he loves the world.
It is risky. It requires that we trust the Lamb of God to guide us and walk before us.
Harm may come: that is a truth that cannot be overlooked, but if we do not reach out, do not act, do not love, no good or healing can come at all. If we do not bring light into the darkness, it remains dark. If we heed God’s call to enter the darkness we will not go alone, we will hear his voice as he reminds us, “Fear not, I am with you.”