In our Gospel text for Sunday, August 7, 2022, from Luke 12, “[Jesus said:] 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” As I was thinking about writing this devotion, several Sly and The Family Stone songs came to mind. The songs that came to mind were I Want to Take You Higher, Everybody is a Star, and Stand. These three songs embody the what and the why Jesus tells us not to be afraid.
Fear is a great weight that we carry. It burdens us and causes us to destroy potential relations and personal progress. Fear leads to loathsomeness, hostility, and stagnation. We must lose our fears, not caution but fear. When we lose fear, like tossing aside what weighs us down, we can move into the relationships God calls us into.
When we are blocked from being in the right relationship with God and one another. Fear causes us not to see the potential benefit of others. Instead, we often see potential harm. Fear causes us to downplay the beauty of others. We seek their flaws to feel better about ourselves. Yet, God is calling us to lose our fears and distrust of others because everybody is God’s child, and everyone is a star.
Lastly, when we overcome our fears, we can make our own decisions and not passively follow the crowd. Paul Tillich talks about this in his book The Courage to Be. When fearful, we often want to fit in with the majority opinion and not follow the convictions placed on us. Fear causes one to follow the crowd and not the cross of Christ.
So “Stars” beloved, let’s not be afraid of others who are different from us. Good is calling us into God’s realm where everybody shares the love of God with everyone else.