Today, Richard McMahon reads from the Gospel of Luke (12: 1-7) in which people gathered in their thousands to hear Jesus when he reminds them how much they are loved by God, saying, ‘every hair on your head has been counted’. Richards says, what is extraordinary here is this mass of humanity coming towards Jesus, pressing in so much that they are stepping on one another. What is the attraction? We all know Jesus is God – Jesus, the Messiah! Richard, wonders, however, what particular message stood out for people? Jesus, repeatedly, says in the Gospel ‘Do not be afraid’ and here he is saying it today. Richard says fear is, perhaps, one of the most pervasive qualities of our humanity. We are scared of just so much… what’s going on in our own body… scared of death… of life being overwhelming in terms of concerns and what’s going on in the world and what we might be facing in our day-to-day struggles. We can feel so isolated in that; so alone; and, perhaps, that’s the worst thing, when we feel isolated in our fear. Here, God is saying a very clear message through Jesus – you are not alone, you are precious beyond all measure and as, the most precious child, please continue to connect with the one who loves us – God with you, with us. We can experience that through connecting and deepening our relationship with other members of our church community and, indeed, with others close to us. Richard says, anxiety is something that sometimes requires therapy and support so we shouldn’t dismiss those means but isn’t it good to know we have a God who has experienced our suffering, that fear, in his own life and, yet, continued to move through that to new life and invites us to the same.