Jesus (sitting on the mound): Some of you think the opposite of love is hate, but the opposite of love is fear, worry and doubt.
Judas (excited): So, it’s okay if we hate our enemies, after all?
Jesus (popping Judas with the ball): Really? No. The thing is, God is love – the Father and I are one – what he is, I am – which is love – right here and now. You’ve been playing ball with God on a couple of levels – with me, with us in you, and in our park, which is God, too. We all come together in unconditional love. No fear here.
Peter: Jesus, now that you mention it, and this is crazy, but I never worry about being acceptable anymore. Your unconditional love zaps worry and fear.
Jesus: I’ve noticed how you’ve loosened up. We have so much more fun now that you aren’t obsessed with yourself. That’s the way God’s love works. It dispels doubts and fears – totally. You are my disciples, so you know and abide in my love and know no fear. This will serve you well in the future. We are inseparable.
Thomas: I know you love me, Jesus, but what if…
Jesus: …you don’t measure up? Worry wart. You are not unworthy. I have decided this for eternity. Quit thinking about it. Act in light of your redemption, not your sin. This is going to sound too ‘new age’ and cosmic, but here it is: In the final reel, God is what is and is not and when time ends nothing is wasted and we win. Everything has a purpose and a place under the sun. Your hope, peace, joy and grace is to see God in your situation. In every situation God bestows graciously.
Simon: Yes, I remember how Murphy nearly broke his neck when he fell off the scaffolding – only to discover how truly blessed he was.
Jesus: Just so. Paradoxes: first is last, life is death, to get is to give, to meek is strong, to keep is to let go, to thirst is to be filled, to lose is to win, to submit is to persevere and to love is to not fear. Of those, not fearing appears to be the hardest thing for you guys. Listen! There is no fear in me. I have your back. Totally. You are absolutely free to be me. The Kingdom of God is here – in us – timelessly.
Thomas (hands to his head): Lord, help my unbelief!
Jesus (tenderly): Aw, Thomas! You try to carry the world on your own shoulders. Let it go. I, we, have it. Together. Trust me. You have no problems I can’t fix. I have you unconditionally. The power that is in me is also in you, but fear and worry will do it’s best to defeat your love.
Thomas: I get so afraid sometimes – everything from big stuff like death or establishing your throne or getting blisters from these new Nike sandals. It’s like I’m programmed to doubt and worry.
Jesus: Thomas, ‘The Fall’ started doubt, misgivings and fear. Eve’s error was, ‘I fear I may be missing something.’ I am redeeming the world from fear. I have come that you might have life – without worry – free and abundant. Follow my way – I AM the way to get past fear – be in me, be me. Consider the lilies and the sparrows. You and I really are one. We are joint heirs, children of the Father, you are in him as I am. The difference is, I know it, you don’t – yet.
James: What about the Pharisees?
Jesus: Good question. The Pharisees don’t bother me so much because they are wrong, but because they are fear mongers. All sorts of evil and meanness comes from fear. Solomon was right, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ – but not the end. The end of wisdom is love. We all discover God’s love in our fear. Once in the Father’s love, fear is dismissed. That’s faith. The Pharisees are not only mean and fearful, they cause others to doubt their acceptance before God. Fear is hell. Purveyors of fear will die in their fear unless they come into the Father’s love. It’s the light and darkness thing – how sad to choose to live in darkness!
Peter: Blessed are you, Jesus, and us, too.
Jesus: Yep, I’m blessed. Go and do likewise. Make disciples.
Tr8: Cast fear aside and walk confidently in love.