Friday, December 21, 2012

Fear Not!

"Fear not!" Two words repeatedly uttered in the pages of the Holy Scriptures by a God well acquainted with every reason we have to be afraid.

He planned for us to be fearless. He planned to provide and protect, love and direct, but we didn't listen to the one requirement that would have guaranteed our permanent place under his sheltering umbrella. And so we fear.

With good reason. There is evil lurking. It kills children and lovers of children. It brings wars, pestilence, famine and disease. It offers us thousands of reasons to be afraid, very afraid.

But He wouldn't leave us this way--this God who still longed to protect and defend, love and relate--was not pleased to leave us desperate for hope and courage.

So he said it again, those incredible words, "fear not!" as he introduced the only remedy that exists for fears that can cripple.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2: 10-11

What greater gift is there than a Savior who redeems us from the hopeless place of faithless fear by offering us a path of return to the shelter of the Most High?

That's the gift of Christmas. Through Christ Jesus, God makes it possible for us to be fearless even when we walk through the valley of death's shadow.

When the evils of this world seem too much to bear, the message of Christmas's solace is a resounding "fear not," echoing peace to an earthbound heart so heavy with the weight of sin's sorrows.

Well acquainted with our grief and far too familiar with the results of our sin sickness, the baby of Christmas (Jesus Christ) has given us this gift:

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 

Priceless and treasured, his promise is peace when everything screams panic, faith when reason screams fear. This is the gift of Christmas, and I can't quite find an adequate way to say thank you.

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