We parents know that it’s tricky, tackling the topic of fear with our kids. We want them to know that it’s okay to be scared, that it’s something we all feel from time to time. We want them to understand that bravery isn’t the absence of fear, but the choices we make in persevering despite that feeling.
Most of all, we want to model the right kind of behavior for our kids. Whatever our scary situation is — illness, a job loss, life changes — we want them to see us make a choice to face that fear head-on.
Jesus seems to be the parent who is gently broaching the topic of fear with his children. A great sense of foreboding hangs over these readings. Jesus knew what was coming. He knew it was going to be hard, both for him and for his followers, who did not have his courage. Even he admits to being “troubled” and he speaks of “the time of judgment.” There is the dramatic raising of Lazarus, the talk of how a grain of wheat must die in order to bear fruit, the depiction of Christ as an obedient student of his own suffering.
“Yet what should I say?” he asks them. “‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.”
This week, Christ gives us a very parental gift: He shows us his fear, and he shows us how to conquer it. He challenges us to embrace the purpose for which we came to this hour — whatever that hour may hold.
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS