Luke 2: 10-14
"And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great
joy which, which shall be unto all people
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is CHRIST THE LORD.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN.'"
When I was a little girl, my sisters and I would yearly put on a Christmas show for my parents after our Christmas service at our Presbyterian church. My older sister had us recite the entire Christmas story from the book of Luke. We sang Christmas carols, while she played the piano. We wore red corduroy skirts that she had sewn. What fond memories I have of those days! It was a blessing more for us to "give" by practicing the Scripture recitation, copying down the carol verses and buying goodies to serve afterwards at the grocery store after church service. You see, we girls anticipated that night for weeks ahead. Though it was a little thing, it meant a lot to us. It is a vivid memory of Christmas past in all of our minds...
Thus the passage in Luke became near and dear to my heart. The angel's words to the shepherds are especially meaningful this Christmas, however. Last time I shared how I was not really in the "Christmas spirit" in light of world events. Well, if you look around, the angels words telling us to "fear not" are especially comforting today.
There was a Christian pastor from Romania named Reverend Richard Wurmbrand who was persecuted by the Communists for speaking for, and preaching Christ, behind the Iron Curtain after the end of World War II. He shared in his book, Tortured for Christ:
"In the Bible, the words “Don’t be afraid” occur 366 times. Once for every day of the year. And because there is the extra day for the leap year, it is not 365 times, but 366 times. I knew that even in the hands of the secret police, I am in the hands of the almighty God and this gave quiet to my heart."
Isn't that a "God thing?" One of these days, I want to find all of them and write them all down. Now that would be a worthwhile challenge! Anyone up for it?
In this Age of Anxiety, God gives us 366 fear nots, one for every day, even leap day. I am trying to stay away from the media and want to spend more time in God's Divine Message. If I was to spend the rest of my life immersed in it, doing nothing else, I would not even scratch the surface! I guess that is why John the Beloved Apostle, speaking of Jesus' works, ended His Gospel with:
"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." John 21: 25
Look not to media and shudder. Look at His Message of Glorious Great News and rejoice with "exceeding great joy." Matthew 2: 10