This woman facing certain death learned not only to manage her fear but to embrace it until it no longer consumed her or directed her actions. In these times where there is much to worry us, consider these lessons on how to preserve humanity—yours and others’.
Here’s the truth many clergy have shared with me: they are afraid to preach about issues of public concern. They know their sermons should in some way address things like racism, homophobia, climate change, sexism, economic issues, or hatred of foreigners, for example. But fear holds them back, keeps them quiet, and muzzles their prophetic voice. How can you preach when you are afraid?
The “M” word consistently makes preachers squirm, perhaps because it’s so wrapped up in our livelihood and the sustainability of the church. But money impacts so much more than our salaries and budgets. It’s a critical influence in nearly every aspect of a parishioner’s life. So our silence on matters of finance may be hurting the very ones we wish not to discomfort.
We often fail to understand the ways our everyday choices impact our environment and, in turn, our neighbor's quality of life. As preachers, we have an obligation to illuminate this reality and invite our listeners into a new dimension of relationship with their neighbors through creation. And not just on Earth Day.