Fear not, little flock,
for it is your Father’s good pleasure
to give you the kingdom.
Things We Are Prone to Fear
To God be all honour and glory for sparing our lives to see another day. My brothers and sisters in the Lord and this Mystical Order greetings. The perfect love of our God cast out all out fears. It is with grateful hearts we thank Thee O Father for your love towards us in this low state.
Why does the flock of God struggle with fear? Luke 12 implies clearly that we do, and that we don’t need to. It points to at least four things that we are prone to fear.
First, in verse 4 Jesus says, “I tell you, friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.” So it implies that we are prone to fear death—especially death by persecution.
Second, in verse 11 Jesus says, “And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” So Jesus implies that we are prone to fear public shame. We are prone to be anxious about what others will think of us if we don’t have the right thing to say.
Third, in verse 22 Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat nor about your body, what you shall put on.” So he implies that we are prone to worry about whether our basic physical needs will be met—food and drink and clothing and shelter.
Reasons Not to Fear These Things
In every case Jesus’ purpose is to give reasons why his “friends” (verse 4) and his “disciples” (verse 22)—his flock—do not need to fear these things. He wants us to be free from fear. So he says . . .
First, death is not the worst thing, hell is. And God will keep you out of hell and care for you with detailed tenderness—the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Second, he says that the Holy Spirit will teach you what to say in an hour of public testing. You will not be left alone.
And third, he says your Father knows your daily needs and is far more inclined to give you what you need than he is to feed the ravens and clothe the lilies, but look how he takes care of them!
So Jesus does not want us to fear—no fear of death, no fear of public shame, no fear of poverty and want. He wants us to see that God is the kind of God whose people do not need to fear.
The Fourth and Deepest Fear
But there is another thing we are prone to fear that goes right to the heart of God. It is perhaps the deepest fear of all and the one that may lie behind all the others. Perhaps that’s why Jesus keeps it for last. We see it in verse 32: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
What fear is Jesus trying to eliminate here?
He is trying to eliminate the fear that God is not the kind of God who really wants to be good to his children. This is a fear that rises up in the hearts of those of us who are prone to feel that God does not want to be gracious to us, that he does not want to be generous and helpful to us. We are prone to think of God as one who is basically irked with us—ill-disposed and angry.
Sometimes even if we believe in our heads that God is good to us, we may feel in our hearts that his goodness is somehow forced or constrained, perhaps like a judge who has been maneuvered by a clever attorney into a corner on some technicality of court proceedings where he must dismiss the charges of the prisoner that he really would rather send to jail.
Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head
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