We Are Afraid
God is There
Martin Luther King, Jr., once recalled a day in Philadelphia,
Mississippi, at the height of the civil rights movement, when he
just gave up. "I wouldn't say I was afraid. I yielded to the
possibility of death. When Ralph Abernathy started to pray we closed
our eyes, and I just knew they were going to drop on us. Ralph said
he prayed with his eyes open."
I think that
is all I wanted to say to you today. Let's not let
anybody, an angel from heaven, or anybody, tell us that even Jesus
can take away all the fear all at once all the time. Sometimes,
like Martin Luther King, we get strength and we stand unafraid in
the face of trouble. But sometimes, like Ralph Abernathy, you are
so scared that you pray with your eyes wide open. Maybe with luck
or grace we will discover what Paul wrote audaciously: "Hard-pressed
on every side, we are never hemmed in. Bewildered, we are never at
our wit's end. Struck down, we are not left to die."
-- From the sermon "Nobody Lives Without Fear"
by The Rev. Dr. Bill Leonard
the sermon in its entirety