St Andrew Blog

A Message from Pastor Lisa: Love Overcomes Fear

Love Overcomes Fear

love casts out fear

A couple days ago I read a message from Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation that really touched me. He started by acknowledging how much the world has changed in just these last few weeks.

That's for sure! Our routines are disrupted. We are working from home--or NOT working--and worrying about where income is going to come from. OR, we worry how our retirement savings will stretch to cover our needs in our post-working years.

We shop differently, exercise differently, socialize differently. We certainly clean and sanitize ourselves and every surface in our homes differently than we once did! And it seems likely that we will all be adapting to these and other significant changes for weeks and perhaps months to come.

Social distancing may cause us to watch a lot more Netflix and Amazon Prime, and to occupy ourselves with news from a variety of sources, but I hope the found time we have on our hands also gives us the opportunity to find moments for reflection and prayer. God does not cause this kind of suffering to teach us things worth learning, but God does use everything as an opportunity to deepen our awareness of divine love and care. So let's make going deeper in our walk of faith, part of our daily schedules.

Richard Rohr said we have a chance to "go deep, and to go broad. Globally, we're in this together. Depth is being forced on us by great suffering, which as I like to say, always leads to great love."

I believe great suffering leads to great love when we open ourselves to feel the suffering of others and to respond to the suffering around us with concrete signs of God's love; with care for vulnerable neighbors; with generous giving; with encouraging phone calls to family and friends.

"Love always goes beyond itself," Fr. Rohr said. I believe love always calls us to an encounter with "the least of these" Jesus loved so much. It is God's unquestionable and unconditional love that will sustain us in this time. And it is love that will help us overcome our own fear by helping others overcome theirs.

I pray for you all daily and encourage you to pray for one another. Join us for worship. Connect with the daily Facebook devotion. Remember to give as you are able and serve others as you can. Go deep--go broad--love one another.