Ordinary Time


Our world appears to thrive and profit from our fear —

fear of those different from us,

fear of insignificance and isolation,

fear that our secret shames might come to light.

Could there be another way to live?

Is it possible to fear less?


You were buried with him through baptism and raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

He destroyed the record of the debt we owed, with its requirements that worked against us. He canceled it by nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:12, 14


I was baptized as a young boy, and I was terrified. I wasn’t scared of the pastor or afraid to stand before the congregation. I was terrified of going under the water. I was so anxious that my dad practiced with me in the pool for several weeks beforehand to make sure I would be ready.

As it turns out, I wasn’t so wrong to fear lowering beneath the water. Baptism represents burial. It’s a picture of death. But it doesn’t end there! As we raise back above the surface and draw a new, life-giving breath, baptism also illustrates resurrection. We have died to our old way of life, and now we live a new one in Christ.

This new life is free from fear, not only of death but also of debt. Now that I have my own home and family, I realize how scary debt can be. Christ has canceled our spiritual debt of sin, nailing its record to the cross. It remains buried as we arise from baptism into fearless life.

Joshua Hays


Lord Jesus, thank you for conquering the powers of sin and death against me. Thank you that the grave cannot hold me because it could not hold you, and that my record of wrongs has been left behind at your cross.


May you go to face the day free from fear, rooted and established in the love of Christ and empowered by the Creator’s good gift of the Holy Spirit.

May love and truth meet in your thoughts, words, and actions this day.