Everyone has needs.
We need a comforting arm or a companion for the journey;
a safe dwelling place or a square meal;
a time of rest or rededication.
From every community, every family, every economic level,
people seek help,
a source of fulfillment for the things they lack.
God invites us into a life of abundance,
where all can be filled,
and where all will be called
to become helpers, too.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water.
Isaiah 35:4-7anext >
Scriptures hold many messages — messages of love, instruction, correction, comfort. But one message is pronounced over and over again, a message that comes straight from God’s heart, delivered over the centuries by prophets, by angels, and even by Jesus himself: Be not afraid.
God’s good news is a message of hope! The prophet Isaiah commanded the people of God to be messengers, to proclaim strength and salvation to the fearful and frightened. To preach “Be not afraid!”
Be not afraid, because when God comes, you’ll finally be able to see, and hear, and dance, and sing. When God comes, you’ll no longer be lost. When God comes, you’ll no longer be parched; instead you’ll well up, and overflow.
When we offer up our voices and hearts and hands to help, to encourage, to lift up, we are proclaiming this good news: Be not afraid, because in the voices and hearts and hands of God’s people, your God is already here!
Nikki Finkelstein-Blairnext >
In a fearful world, God, make me a messenger of hope. In my words, let your message of strength be clear. In my actions, let your message of help be done. Amen.next >
As the hands and feet of God,
we put our faith to work in service to the world,
trusting in the One who has helped us,
and called us
to lead us to those in need.
Let us love as God loves:
with hands ready to get dirty,
with feet ready to walk far,
with eyes ready to see hardship,
with hearts ready to receive.
Let us love as God loves:
with lives ready to serve.
Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is an ordained Baptist minister, wife to a US Navy chaplain, and stay-home mom to two little boys. In every new duty station, she participates in church life from VBS to pulpit supply, and is regularly involved in women’s ministries and writing. She blogs seasonal devotions at The Ordinary Times.