May 20, 2021

Trust, Not Fear

By Glenn

Sunday, May 23, is the Western Christian holiday of Pentecost.  According to Christian scripture, the Holy Spirit emboldened the frightened followers of Jesus on Pentecost. 

The holiday derives its name from the Jewish feast of the first fruits. God commanded the Hebrews to offer their first fruits to Him fifty (penta) days after Passover.  This sacrifice was an act of faith.  They had to trust that more fruits would follow.

Many Christians mistakenly translate faith as belief.  The word actually comes from the Latin “fides” which means “to trust.”  A faithful person trusts God.

Trust is central to the Gospels of Jesus.  Jesus constantly taught his disciples that God would provide.  They simply needed to trust.  Often the disciples did not trust him and became frightened.

Humans are pretty bad at trusting.  We worry about our next meal.  We worry about our health.  We worry about the weather.  We fear our neighbor or our government.  We fear for our lives.

According to the Gospel of John, the Apostles feared for their lives after the crucifixion of Jesus.  They even locked themselves in a room.  There the risen Jesus appeared to them and said “Peace be with you.”

Immediately, this brought them comfort and hope, but when Jesus left, they remained locked inside a room.  They were afraid to venture out.  They didn’t want to risk their lives. 

All that changed on Pentecost.  The Holy Spirit came to them and provided them comfort and strength.  They were no longer afraid and went outside. 

El Greco,Pentecostés, 1597),_1597).jpg

Outside they found people from all around the Mediterranean, strangers.  Each had their own customs and language.  When they Apostles spoke, they were heard and understood by all.   They no longer sounded like they were “babbling.”

God had lifted the curse from the Tower of Babel.  Humans could now understand one another.  Humans could learn from one another.  Humans didn’t have to fear one another.  Humans could live in peace with one another.

Peace, however, requires trust.  When we trust others, we make ourselves vulnerable.  We risk our prosperity and our lives.  Jesus certainly trusted.

Jesus asked his followers to trust, not judge.  If someone is hungry, feed them.  If someone is sick, heal them.  If someone is a stranger, invite them in.  All these commandments put us at risk.

The Gospel of Jesus is a message of hope and peace.  Pentecost is a festival of strength and comfort.  If we trust the Gospel and love our neighbor, we have nothing to fear.  Peace be with you.

Spread the love


You must be logged in to post a comment.