Walter Brueggemann: You Who Casts Out Fear

You are the God from whom no secret is hidden, and so
we tell before you our great fears:
We have fear down to our toes because of the danger of the Covid-19 virus;
We have fear up to our ears from violence all around us;
We have fear for the fragility of our economy and our place in it;
We have fear for the threats our democracy faces;
We have fear for the safety of immigrants in need of refuge among us;
We have fear that causes us loss of sleep;
We have fear that skews our vision and distorts our judgment.

We know that fear is contagious; it passes among us; it flows from issue to issue, and our negative adrenalin is magnified.

Our fear evokes our worst selves and summons us to shriveled, demeaned, and demeaning lives.

But then You! You as perfect love;You who crowds in against our deep fears:

Cancel our fears!
Veto our anxiety;
Nullify our uneasiness!

O perfect love, cast out our fear;
cast out our parsimony,
that we may become generous in self-giving,
that we may gladly risk more and more of who we are
and what we have.

O perfect love, cast out our fear;
cast out our anger,
that we may become more forgiving,
that we may more readily transform circumstances of threat
into venues for shared wellbeing.

O perfect love, cast out our fear;
cast out our guarded isolation,
that we may be more welcoming of the “other” in our midst,
that we may be more accepting of those unlike us.

O perfect love, we turn to you so that we are not eaten alive by our fear.

In your presence we move toward fearlessness;
let us be fearless in our generosity;
let us be fearless in our forgiveness;
let us be fearless in our hospitality.

Let us put ourselves down in your deep embrace that holds us closely,
along with all those whom you love.

We pray in the fearless name of Jesus.  Amen.

Walter Brueggemann
Columbia Theological Seminary
(For Myers Park Presbyterian Church)


Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann is surely one of the most influential Bible interpreters of our time. He is the author of over one hundred books and numerous scholarly articles. He continues to be a highly sought-after speaker.


Used with permission. Originally posted on Church Anew, a ministry of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, MN.

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