Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. (John 14:1)
During Lent I usually observe some kind of self-reflection. For me, this year's focus will be addressing fear and worry. Lent may seem an odd time to address those things; it's at advent that we read about the Messiah's Angel announcing "Fear not!" Still, it was on the night in which he was betrayed that Jesus taught his disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled."
There are a lot of troubling thing in the world. Besides the troubles that come to us naturally, there are those who amplify troubles, fears, and accusations for their own purposes. There are media outlets that produce mini horror shows -- complete with caricatured villains -- and market them as news, or who thrive on shock and outrage. It is too easy to get caught up in this one fear being reasonable, that one worry being justifiable, those particular threats being a real danger.
Of course there are real dangers in the world. "Do not let your hearts be troubled" was spoken the same night as "Let this cup pass from me." Neither do I agree with those who see "Fear not" as a commandment of obligation and therefore see fear as a sin of commission. Still, fear may make us vulnerable to temptation. Doesn't it play a role in greed, or enmity, or spite, or fits of rage? Who is more dangerous than someone who is frightened, or possibly frightened-then-angry?
So for Lent this year I will be looking at how God and his messengers address fear and worry.