Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sun. Jan. 10, 2010 (Jeanette Hanson)

Jeanette Hanson (a missionary in China) spoke on one theme which ran through the day's lectionary texts: "fear not". Luke reports that these words were spoken by the angel to the terrified shepherds, and Isaiah also uttered them, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you." By comparison, John the Baptist (Luke 3.15-) had a message to the wealthy and powerful (us) which can only induce fear. Even Mary's "Magnificat" should make Canadian Christians fearful because her triumphant prayer is utterly threatening to our wealth. If the weak are going to be raised up, it can only be at our expense; if all the hungry in the world are indeed to be fed, our daily diets will suffer enormously; if the mighty are to be brought down from their seats, laws in many places will change drastically and there could be a serious redistribution of resources that would hurt our life styles. Mary's message is inclusive, Jesus attempted to include everybody in his proposed kingdom and Isaiah portrayed God as calling out to all nations. In the context of this call being global, the message "fear not" reminds us that God really is with us, that we need not fear other peoples, other races, or new economic times. Truth is, however, most of us likely do fear a truly upside-down kingdom. [JEK]



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