TITLE: Fear Not
DATE: December 2, 2018
TEXT: Luke 2:10 (ESV) -10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
When people think of the days immediately before Christmas they prefer to dwell on things like chestnuts roasting by the open fire and Jack Frost nipping at their noses. Their thoughts would like to turn to the family visits; the children’s excitement which, somehow gets blended together and becomes a wonderful, warm glowing time of gladness.
Yes, people expect to feel good at Christmas, but for many it just doesn't happen. Nursing home residents feel lonelier at Christmas than at any other time of the year; suicides rise after Christmas has supposedly let people down.
Just about the time Americans have devoured the last Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, sad-faced TV newscasters tell us that it "looks like a bad Christmas" this year. Off sales and a host of other reasons explain why so few people can sustain the mood of Christmas. Bills.... family arguments.... job difficulties.... loneliness... expectations unfulfilled.... difficult times.... the passing of years... illness.... death.
All these negatives insert themselves into our lives. For all too many, the festive season seems menacing and not merry. All of these items swirling around in our lives translate into a frightening, a fearful Christmas. Well, it isn’t the first time that has happened.
Did you ever notice that the Christmas story is repeatedly marked by angels showing up and making their introduction with the words, “Don’t be afraid.” They do that for two reasons:
The same can be said about our lives. Researchers tell us that all of us HAVE BEEN and most of us NOW ARE frightened. They have even listed our top fears from one to ten (with a three-way tie for third place)
Of course, it is quite possible that this Advent your fears aren’t on THAT list.
Just because your fear isn’t there, doesn’t mean your fear doesn’t exist. Fear is universal. It was a force in the lives of almost every one of the Nativity Story participants and it is a force in our lives, too. Which is why we need to hear the angels say to us, “Fear not." We need to hear the Lord when He says, “My Son has come to give you peace. My Son has arrived to save your soul and put your sins, and your fears, to rest.'
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, let me see how very much You love me. Let Your Words, “Fear Not” once delivered by angels bring peace to my frightened heart. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html