Advent Devotion: December 8
Do Not Fear
Read Luke 1:30, Matthew 1:20, Luke 2:8-14
I don't know about you, but the Advent Season often times becomes a season of stress for me. Rushing around to find the perfect tree, the perfect gift, the perfect decorations. Making sure the mantle is just so. Arranging the ornaments multiple times before deciding they will just "have to do." Picking the most glorious gift wrap and planning the most exquisite of dinner parties. A season of preparation, certainly. But preparing for the King? Well, that seems to be pushed to the back burner for me.
And with all of the hustle and bustle, the stress and expectations, the busy-ness and lack of sleep, there is an underlying sense of fear. Fear that things might not go the way I have them planned. Fear that the most sought after gift would be on backorder. Fear that the thematic choice of my wrapping style might cause problems if I run out of a certain wrapping paper. And as this fear begins to seep into my spirit, I?m reminded of something from the Gospels: the conversations that the angel Gabriel has with those he encounters in the Christmas story.
You see, in the conversations with Mary and Joseph and the shepherds alike, Gabriel says "Do not fear." The messenger angel, bringing news of the Messiah, has to remind the humans that they should not be afraid, that in their preparation of the Christ-child, they should not fear. And each time I am reminded of those words, I stop in my tracks. Because this season is not a season of fear, but one of rejoicing. And while there are still to-do lists that need checking off during this time, being afraid should not be included. As the angel said, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that will be for all people." Let this season be one of joy rather than fear, for the King is coming!
Prayer: Holy God, during the stress and busy times of the Christmas season, reveal yourself to us. Remind us to be still, to rest in you - remind us not to fear. Allow our preparations to be a celebration of Jesus, and let them be used to glorify you in all that we do. Amen.