When we respond to dangerous situations, we can either respond in fear or hope. For example:
The pastor from Texas responded out of fear, yet the pastor from Rhode Island responded out of hope and love. In our gospel lesson today, Jesus tells us that the world will get worse before it gets better. As we respond to natural and human-made disasters, the world tells us to respond in fear. Yet Christ tells us to respond with love and to live in hope.
Christ calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves. The entire Old Testament proclaims that we are to care for the orphan, the widow, and the alien (foreigner). So, we have an obligation to care for the Syrian refugees. The world tells us to leave them across the world so that we don't welcome any terrorists. That is a fear response. Christ tells us to welcome them here (trusting our government's vetting system to keep us safe). As Lutherans, we proclaim this together:
The greatest example of moving from fear to hope is found in this video:
As Christ has taught us, we will stand tall, respond with love, and live in hope. We can do this because of what Christ has already done for us on the cross. Amen.