As I worked through accumulated administrative details on my desk, the news of the Supreme Court ruling on the new health care law came in. The next morning, listening to various responses on the both radio and television I was struck again by reactive and fear driven we culturally are. There is little time in the modern news cycle for reflective response. The demand for a quick quote tramples deeper thought and measured reflection. Not long ago I preached an Advent sermon on the bondage of fear versus the challenge of faith. I opened with the comment; “we are a society snared in the bondage of fear. Just consider the coming presidential elections and the charges tossed about. They are a fear driven mantra. Your health care will disappear. Your retirement savings will be lost. The government or big business or pick your bogyman of your choice will dominate your life.” We live the challenge of faith in the basic way we are Methodist – that is to say, by being methodical about the spiritual disciples of prayer, worship and bible study that keep us focused on the sacrifice and love of Christ. Often our outward expression of fear reflects a crippled inward walk with Christ. This is not about ignoring fear or pretending it doesn’t exist. It is about walking with Christ beyond fear! Do you remember the report back of the original scouts going into the Promised Land? “The land that we crossed over to explore is a land that devours its residents. All the people we saw in it are huge men.” (Numbers 13:32 – I like the older translation “there be giants in the land!”) Fear kept the people of God paralyzed in the wilderness. The same can happen for us. There may be giants in the land but there is also Christ! I don’t have any great insight about what the future holds but I do know that God holds the future. Wherever you or I might stand on the various issues confronting us (individually, as a church, as a nation, or as a world), the Lord of life calls us to embrace life with the challenge of faith. It really does trump the bondage of fear.