Fear not, for the Lord is with us.

“I’m so afraid.”

I’m seeing that a lot in my social media feed. For months (years), we have been fed a steady stream of doom, violence and hate. We’ve been trained to distrust and report our neighbors. We’ve been trained to rely on police for our safety, but distrust and hate the same police.

I reject fear. I reject violence. I reject hate. I reject the current model of life: hiding in my home, living vicariously through the infotainment fed to us, social distancing, remaining strangers, dependence, and mere existence.
I embrace life. I will live joyfully, gratefully, and lovingly for as long as I have left. I will live, and not just exist.

Today is Pentecost, the birthday of the Christian church. The Holy Spirit is here, within us and among us. I worshipped this morning with a group of people that happily and joyfully embraced the strangers among them, with love. I watched children hug and play. We took communion together and felt the breeze and the breath of the Holy Spirit moving among us.

Each birthday is the first day of a new year. This is a new year and a new season. If you want something different this year, let me know. I’ll tell where you can find it.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

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