We all make typographical errors now and then. Our fingers hit the wrong keys and words come out misspelled. How many times has “united” turned out to be “untied”? It wasn’t a political statement to refer to the Untied States instead of the United States. Just a typo.

I thought the other day that another easy mistake to make is to spell “sacred” as “scared.” Just transpose two letters and it becomes another word entirely. Unfortunately, these days, the coronavirus may have us feeling more “scared” than “sacred.” On the other hand, if we set our minds to it, we may also adjust from living in a scared space to living in a sacred place. Faith can make the difference.

When Moses and the Israelites gathered on the bank of the Red Sea, the water stretched before them and the Egyptian army surged behind them. Moses told them, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today” (Exodus 14:13 NIV).

In other words, “Don’t be scared. God will turn this scared space into a sacred space when he acts on your behalf.”

Next week we will observe Good Friday. That’s when God turned a cross into something sacred. Prior to that day it was a frightening symbol of torture, an emblem of death. But when Jesus died on the cross, he made it possible for us to be transformed from death to life. Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24 NIV).

I asked Jesus to come into my life many decades ago, and I remember vividly that when my head hit the pillow at night, my fears about death had been replaced with an assurance about my future in heaven. It was because of what Jesus did on the cross. He turned a scared space into a sacred space. He wants to do the same for you.

— The Rev. Ron McClung, a former pastor of Owosso Wesleyan Church, now living in Indianapolis, Indiana, currently serves as associate general secretary for the denomination.

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