Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Do Not Be Afraid

The angels making visits in the year before that first Christmas had important messages to give.
They told of John the Baptist’s coming,
of the birth of Jesus;
they assured a man who feared for his own reputation and the integrity of the woman he had committed to marry,
and they announced to a group of tired, lowly shepherds the arrival of a baby king who was to save the world, and could be found in the town nearby.

The angels knew they were messengers of God. They knew that what they had to share was real and true, but they also knew something of the people they had come to visit. Whether it was their own appearance, the shock of the sudden presence of a stranger speaking, perhaps the messages themselves, or even the pieces of the journey that each recipient found themselves traveling; the angels’ messages were the same: Do not be afraid.

“Do not be afraid, Zacharias. Your prayers have been heard.”
“Do not be afraid, Mary. God loves you dearly.”
"Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife!”
"Do not be afraid!” the angel said to the shepherds. “Listen, I bring you glorious news of great joy which is for all the people.”

To each the message was really the same: God is bigger than you, and He’s asking you to join Him in celebrating, in carrying out a part of His story, in walking in faith. Don’t be afraid – He knows what the journey ahead looks like.

A new year is ahead and we have an opportunity; a chance to step forward acknowledging as the old English hymn writer did that “this is [our] Father’s world” and “God is the ruler yet.”

We step ahead knowing that the year past held many reasons to celebrate and praise God for His faithfulness and enduring love in our own lives and in the lives of our families.

We also step ahead knowing that the year past held details of brokenness that we don’t always like to talk about.

In all of this, both the joys and the challenges, the truths of God and His unfailing promises have been constant. Deeper than just in His promises, God has been sovereign and He is faithful.

So as we move into the year ahead, may we be reminded not to be afraid.
May we be reminded that God is bigger than us, and He asks us to join Him in celebrating, in carrying out parts of His story, doing so by walking in faith.

Happy New Year!


Chloe said...

So good. I love looking for repetition in scripture. It is so powerful.

Chloe said...

So I am wondering, if I post a comment here, will you get it? S Douma. I am interested to know the details...So good to hear from you via my blog. You can write me further at cdhilden at gmail dot com. I've got an old email address for you, but I have no idea if it is current.