Friday, December 5, 2014

Do Not Be Afraid

Children of all ages are no strangers to being afraid, and neither are parents. Children are afraid of the dark, big dogs, the possibility of divorce, monsters under the bed, getting their faces wet, and a myriad of other things. Adolescents are afraid that they will always be tallest or shortest or fattest or thinnest, of being rejected when asking someone out on a date, that no one will stop them from their out of control behavior, and that they will have to leave the nest before they are done growing up. Parents are afraid of car accidents, child molesters, bicycles, drugs and death. Being afraid is part of the human condition.

Into this arena of fear comes the message "Do not be afraid."

God speaks these words to Abraham, to Hagar, to Isaac, to Jacob. Moses is reminded, Joshua is instructed, and Elijah is commanded. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah brought messages from the Lord saying "Do not be afraid." Usually the message is accompanied by "for I am with you."

I imagine few who heard those words were completely relieved of their fear, but again and again God showed up and proved there was nothing beyond the scope of God's power.

As we move toward Christmas we will hear these words again. Angels, messengers from God, speaking to Mary, and Joseph, and nameless shepherds on a hillside. The same message, with a twist. "Do not be afraid; I bring you good news!"

And so as December flies by and Christmas approaches I say to you parents - Do Not Be Afraid!

Do Not Be Afraid . . .

  • To be your child's parent. You were not given this child to befriend, you are Mom or Dad!
  • To let traditions from your childhood that no longer hold meaning die. You can lose all of Christmas suffering through traditions that no one enjoys any longer.
  • To kill Santa. Or the Elf on the shelf. 
  • To help your child have realistic expectations.
  • To reach out to others who may be lonely.
  • To simpllify what you need to for the sake of the Christmas your family wants.
  • To make your kids wait. . .
There's a lot of pressure on us this time of the year. Pressure to be more, do more, spend more. And the season that should evoke joy can, instead, evoke fear. Fear of not being enough, not decorating (cleaning/baking/wrapping enough) not spending enough. . . 

Do not be afraid Mom and Dad. The Lord has found favor with you and entrusted His beautiful children into your care. Do not be afraid - just love them and glorify God for them! Let them and yourselves know they have nothing to fear for God is with them. 

I Bring You Good News. . .
  • You are enough
  • You do enough
  • Your gifts show your love
  • It's all about the baby - 
  • The rest is just for fun, and if it's not fun for anyone in your family, don't do it!
Merry Christmas (it's ok to say - don't be afraid!). May the good news of the Christ child eradicate the fears that creep upon us so stealthily.

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