Fear sells magazines. Like the Newsweek cover that recently declared, “Apocalypse Now.” In that article, writer Simon Winchester declared that recent quakes in New Zealand and Chile, has ratcheted up the chances of a catastrophic seismic event striking in California.
Fear sells medical quackery like it did when thousands of people bought potassium iodine to protect them from the radiation cloud they feared was coming from Japan.
Fear is personal for each individual. It also takes many forms: medical fear, vocational fear, fear of loneliness and death. Fear is a shapeshifter that can look like the environment, or an enemy, or a disease. Fear is comfortable in any setting.
Fear showed up on Sunday morning at a cemetery in Jerusalem when two women came to attend to Jesus’ body which they expected to find in the preliminary stages of decay. Instead they experienced an earthquake, lightening, and an angel sitting on the stone that used to cover the tomb.
The Roman guards at the tomb were paralyzed by fear. The two Marys were also fearful, more so because the body of the person they followed as disciples was gone. The writer Mathew said that the angel reassured the women and said, “Don’t be afraid; the person you expected to find here is alive and waiting for you in Galilee.”
That one, reassuring comment changed everything and sent fear running from the cemetery. Hope, the great enemy of fear, walked with the two women back to the company of their friends.
A new world of possibilities lay before them as they realized that the really big enemies of joy had just been defeated.