Locked for Fear John 20.19-31

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”  26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.”  28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”  30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.  31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

How strong is the power of fear? Fear says: you shouldn’t, you couldn’t, you will be in trouble if you. Others will laugh AT you. Others will reject you. You will be alone, forgotten, unloved. You will be a failure, ..again.
Fear of letting someone down?
Fear of letting our weaknesses show?
Fear of not succeeding    Fear of attention?
Fear of silence    Fear of death        Fear of pain
Fear of no-feeling    Fear of rejection    Fear of loss
Fear of having too much    Fear of Fear itself.
Let not your heart be afraid…come to me all who labor and are heaven laden.
Fear Not, I bring you tiding of good news, a great joy.
Peace, be still
When we are not afraid, when our guard is down.
When our stealth coating of protect is penetrated.

Are we capable of more or less?
If I were not afraid, what would I do?
I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength.

If I were afraid, what would I do for God? write them down, read them aloud.
With Each congregation responds…
Peace be with you, God is sending you.

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