The Christmas Story - Week 4

Monday, December 27, 2010

During Weeks One and Two we covered Matthew. Week 3 started in Luke. Now we finish Luke's version of the Christmas story, on this last Monday of the year. I hope you are enjoying a Merry CHRISTmas!

The Shepherds and the Angels, Luke 2:8-20

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior, has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

When the angles had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. Whey they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying God for all the things which were just as they had been told.


Maybe it is because I'm in a contemplative, year-end mood, but what strikes me most about this passage is where the angel says, "Do not be afraid." The angels always start off by saying, "Do not be afraid." I was reminded of that phrase many times over the weekend, as my children received a Little People nativity set for Christmas. They played with the pieces, crashing them into one another and not exactly recreating the scene. But there was one point where they paused, and somehow felt inspired. Big Guy lined up all the figures, then held the angel in front of Mary and said, "Do not be afraid. You will have a baby." He brought the wise men over, "We shall call him Christ the Lord."

I could hardly believe my eyes or my ears. Then it happened again.

"Crash! Crash! Ahh! De manger falling over! Crash! Hey! Gimme dat! Hey!!"
(pause)
Small voice, "Do not be afraid."

As he and his brother played with the creche throughout the weekend, crashing, yelling, and then, pausing, I started to think, "How comforting."

What lovely words to hear straightaway from God's messenger, "Do not be afraid." Because aren't we afraid, unsure, worried, stressed, or hesitant, a lot? Maybe especially right now, as we negotiate present piles, traffic jams, snowed-in family relationships, or even true loss, hurt or disaster. God knows this. He knows we are human. So the first words are calming, "Do not be afraid. . . for I bring you good news . . . a Savior has been born to you."

To you.

As I spend this week reflecting on 2010 and anticipating 2011, I want to remember those words do not be afraid, and the fact that God knows my hurts, worries, and desires. For in the midst of whatever challenges lie behind or ahead, there is good news: a Savior has been born to you.

A Savior.

Cast your cares upon Him, because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7


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One Response to “The Christmas Story - Week 4”

  1. Courtney,

    I like this post because it reminded me that being afraid isn't always how I think of it. Sometimes being afraid for me is just being unsure or hesitant. It's not resting in what I know to be true.

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