Fear Factor

They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound.
They give assurances of peace when there is no peace.”
Jeremiah 8:11 NLT

I have a theory that the Halloween industry is selling us something far larger than sugar, gruesome lawn ornaments and costumes, especially once you get too old to trick-or-treat. The majority of adult-themed Halloween entertainment (haunted houses, horror flicks, zombie survival camp , etc.) is actually selling us [fictional] near-death experiences.

Which means they are actually trying to sell us a manufactured appreciation for life. They are selling that rush of relief you have when you are able to walk away unscathed from chainsaws, hockey masks and the fedora-wearing talon man.

Is it possible that we enjoy being scared to death because it reminds us we how much we love our life?

If that is the case, what do we do for the 11 other months of the year that we don’t have haunted corn mazes to frequent?

I was thinking about all this because of something  God said in Jeremiah chapter 8. He was talking with Jeremiah about a threat his people were facing. At that time there were teachers, called Priests and Prophets, who were specifically in charge of sharing God’s wisdom with the people. Unfortunately, those teachers were twisting God’s words for their own form of near-death experience… the eternal type. They were allowing God’s people to live outside of the guidelines given to them by God to temporarily increase their joy. But, just like our cultures’ solutions today, it wasn’t actually a cure. It was more of a bandaid.

“From the least to the greatest, they trick others to get what does not belong to them. Yes, even my prophets and priests are like that. They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when all is war.” (Jeremiah 8:10b-11 NLT)

It’s a trick, not a treat. It’s a bandaid for a mortal wound. It’s an false sense of peace when all is war. They were fooling themselves then just as much as we are fooling ourselves now. Escaping acknowledgement of sin is not gaining perfection just like merely escaping death is not all it takes to appreciate life.

What’s the appropriate treatment for my mortal wounds of fear, imperfection, anxiety, and maybe even an overall dulled appreciation for life?

“He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.” (1 Peter 2:24 NLT)

At the risk of sounding like I’m in Sunday School: Jesus. He IS life. Because of him, we HAVE life. We really have escaped death and can live for what is right… even without chainsaws.


Dear Lord, sometimes the days grow long and I struggle with staying excited about the precious moments you give me. Renew my mind and flood me with joy for every minute of every day. Remind me that I can live life to the fullest by knowing you and living out your will for my life. Amen.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/84424657@N00/58100265″>la sangre es vida/blood is life</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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About messyworship

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I believe that you can bump into God outside of a Sunday morning church service. That is what Messy Worship is: a written meditation with an authentic, transparent take on the Bible's application to today's world. This is where I challenge myself to blurr the line between "life" and "worship" so much that the line disappears a little more each day. I hope, by sharing what I learn, the idea of a seamless life of worship becomes contagious.

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