Psalm 49:5-9, 14-15
Why should I fear in the days of evil, When the iniquity at my heels surrounds me? Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches, None of them can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him—For the redemption of their souls is costly, And it shall cease forever—That he should continue to live eternally, And not see the Pit.... Like sheep they are laid in the grave; Death shall feed on them; The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; And their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me.
These verses begin with "Why should I fear?" And they end with "God will receive me." That is important for us to remember. It is easy to let fear drive our relationships. We are afraid what others might do, so we defend, we clam up, we pull in, or we attack. We are afraid what others will do, so we stay away. But God has received us, so we don’t have to fear. Perfect love casts out fear. He HAS ransomed our souls from death. We have assurance of that in this meal. This assurance is meant, as I say every week, to equip us to serve Him in His kingdom. It does this partly by freeing us from the fear of others. If God is for us, who can be against us? The Lord is my light and my salvation, what can man do to me? This isn’t some Pollyanna world where we deny that people can really hurt us, in their sin. But since God receives us in Christ He will heal our wounds and forgive our sins until we are positively swimming in joy, fellowship, and favor.