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Age Of Anxiety

I know this much: I was blind before; now I can see
John 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

Sermon Topic Anxiety

Sermon Week Fourth Sunday of Lent Cycle A

Scripture Summary John 9:25


The well-known contemporary poet, W. H. Auden, was one of the first to call our period in history "The Age of Anxiety." Since that time, others have picked up on it because it does seem to characterize our time in history-this feeling of apprehension, of worry, of doubt, of uneasiness about the future. It is a mood that has affected our culture. We find it in our art and literature and music. If you go to New York City to the Museum of Modern Art, you will see a painting by Andre Rousseau (often called the "Godfather" of modern painting) of a gypsy woman sleeping out in the open with her guitar by her side. It's all very peaceful, except in the background there is a menacing lion. There is no explanation, no clue as to why the lion is there. That's why the artist does it that way. There is often no rational explanation for our anxieties, but they are there. And, as you look at the painting, you get the feeling of threat, of dread, of tension. You sense that something is very wrong and it leaves you uptight.

Arthur Miller, who may in some ways be the "Godfather" of contemporary drama, gives us Willy Loman, the leading character in "Death of a Salesman." Willy is always anxious, you may remember-about his job, about his health, about his family. Finally, he is so overwhelmed by these anxieties, he commits suicide. The Willy Loman character is representative of a great many characters being portrayed in important contemporary literature, music and art.

This business of anxiety, this constant worry we carry around with us, robs life of its joy, robs us of our sleep, drains our energy and vitality, contributes to and/or causes many forms of illness. I don't have to list them. Just turn on your TV when you go home and list the remedies being advertised that sell by the millions every day. Because the "Age of Anxiety" describes the time and the society in which we live, it should be cause for our great excitement to know [...]

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