My Dear Sisters and Brothers! Fear is well known to us. There are situations when fear is a blessing.
How many of you would go for a ride with a driver who doesn’t have any fear? In our daily life we need a dose of fear. It protects us from destruction. It protects us from engaging in situations which can cause us harm. However fear also reveals that someone or something is precious to us. It appears when, because of our actions, we are close to losing the person or the thing which are precious to us.
At the same time you wouldn’t go far with a driver who is totally fearful, would you? The Holy Bible tells us 365 times ‘Do not be afraid.’ It is a gift for every single day of the year so that we weren’t controlled by fear. However the Holy Bible (in the Book of the Proverbs) tells us once and for good: ‘The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.’ The wisdom here is not the intelligence but the godly way of living. Such wisdom inspired the author of today’s Psalm to pray: ‘Lord, make me know your ways. Lord, teach me your paths. Make me walk in your truth, and teach me for you are God my Saviour.’
Let me recall a page from a book written by C. S. Lewis: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which is the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia. C. S. Lewis wrote the books to bring the message of the Gospel to the people who may not be the most excited about reading the Bible. The Lion called Aslan represents Jesus Christ as we read in the Book of the Apocalypse: ‘There is no need to cry: the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.’ The Tribe of Judah was one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the tribe of kings. That’s why their symbol was a lion. Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Judah too. We Christians worship him as King of Universe.
So when the children in the book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, found themselves in the world of Narnia inhabited by strange creatures and the animals which can talk they are told they will meet Aslan. One of the children, the little Lucy says: ‘Is he quite – safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.’ That you will dearie, and no mistake,’ said Mrs. Beaver, ‘if there is anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they are either braver than most or else just silly.’ ‘Then he isn’t safe?’ said Lucy. ‘Safe?’ said Mr. Beaver ‘don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.’
Maybe people turn away from Christian faith because we Christians present Jesus Christ as a cute puppy following us wherever we want to go rather than the powerful Lion of the Tribe of Judah whose every step is inspired by doing the will of his Father in heaven.
My Dear fellow Christians! Is Jesus safe for us to approach him? Well, he will show you the truth of yourself. Are you ready for that? You will be like Adam and Eve after they sinned. You will see the naked truth of yourself. But Jesus is good. He will call you to repentance and new life. He will offer to shepherd you. What do you choose?
When you choose to follow Jesus, even if the whole world collapses Jesus’ words are: ‘Stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’
My Dear Sisters and Brothers! We begin Advent and a new Christian year this Sunday by receiving the message of God that the world which is our home will not last forever. All that is affected by sin will eventually be wiped away. However our rescue is ‘the Son of Man who will come in a cloud with power and great glory.’ Hold fast onto him today as you Lord and Saviour, the powerful Lion of Judah. Let him shepherd you along the way to eternal life.