Monday, March 19, 2012
Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor
Executive Minister Devotion Monday, March 19, 2012 - Isaiah 43:1 - Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor - Executive Minister - Cathedral of Hope UCC Dallas Texas
“But now thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
I’m not superstitious, but when you are defending your doctoral thesis that represents three years of reading, research and writing, you want every advantage you can get. Before I left Dallas last Sunday night, I knew that I wanted something tangible to hold and remind me of why I was doing what I was doing. As I left my office after worship last Sunday, I took a pocket piece that sits on a shelf in front of my desk.
Almost four years ago, a long-time member of Cathedral of Hope who was volunteering in the church office came into my office that morning with a small wrapped gift. It was the pocket piece that I took with me to Chicago and it reads: “Fear Not For I Am With You.” It was given to me by John Neel.
John was one of the most faithful and delightful people I have ever known. He could recite poetry and anecdotes like no one else and had the penmanship of an angel. It broke my heart when I received the phone call that he had passed away almost two years ago.
That pocket piece reminded me that God was near and I had nothing to fear, that John was looking over my shoulder cheering me on and I found peace in the midst of my fear.
It seems to me, these days that fear is all around us. If you find yourself fearful today, I hope that you can remember someone like John who has impacted your life. But more importantly, I hope you will remember what the prophet Isaiah taught us long ago: you belong to God; no matter what.
Everlasting God, thank you that you know my name. Amen.
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