News from Pastor Jon

05.01.24 | by Rev. Jon Coyne

News from Pastor Jon

    May 2024

    ” There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.” 1 John 4:18

    I hate to admit how many times in my life I have been afraid. I could create different categories of fear and fill each category with multiple times when I feared what would happen. I could count the hours and days I have given up worrying about things I feared which did not happen. I suspect there are very few people who live without fear. In fact, we often read that the angels said, “Fear not” when they appeared to people. Fear was the natural reaction of sinful people in the presence of God’s messengers.

    However, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, after the ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost John had a different message to share. The Gospel message of Jesus – His birth, life, death and resurrection for us meant that love (God) had triumphed. Jesus has power over sin, death and the devil. All of our fears are forever gone in the love of Christ.

    So, why is it that we still feel fear? Why are we terrified about some things we think might happen and other things which do happen?

    John knows that all people have fears in life. He knows that in this lifetime we have not yet reached the perfection we will have in heaven. However, John wants to proclaim to all of us the truth of the Gospel. Jesus (perfect love) has driven out all fear. I have seen this so many times that I have to share it as John once did.

    Over my years of ministry I have noticed one thing which seems to be a contradiction, but really is not. In our early years of life, (teens and 20s) many people feel as though they will never die. In our middle to latter years, many people experience fear of illness and death in a variety of circumstances. However, when I have been with people when they die, or when I get to be with people in the hours/days before death, I have been comforted (over and over) by the fact that they are almost always at peace and in a place where fear has gone and replaced with something best described as…well, love.

    I should not be surprised, but this is my witness of what I have seen. Sisters and brothers in Christ, many of whom have worked hard to stay alive, come to a place where they know God is bringing them to a place where all fears are gone. It does not seem to matter how old or young they are – the peace of God, which passes all understanding is there with them. I may not understand, but like John, I proclaim that which I have seen and heard. “…perfect love casts our fear” and we can live at peace in the knowledge.

    God’s Peace,
    Pastor Jon