105 Franklin St, South Hill, Virginia

Don’t Be Afraid

South Hill United Methodist Church

Don’t Be Afraid

10 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. 11 Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. 12 This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14 “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”
Luke 2:10-14, Common English Bible

The message of Christmas always seems to grab our attention. In fact, our whole culture goes crazy at this time of year. Granted, much of the excitement is over material goods. However, there is something different about this time of year. Maybe it’s the change in weather. Maybe it’s all the shiny decorations. But maybe, the message of Christmas is not completely lost in the hustle and bustle of the season. You see, there is a message of hope contained in the vision of angels to the shepherds. “Don’t be afraid. I bring good news to you – wonderful joyous news for all people!” In other words, fear no more because the Savior has come. Fear no more because God has entered the world. What makes this news even more amazing is that the long awaited Messiah came in an unexpected way – as a vulnerable child.

It begs us to remember that God has repeatedly and continuously worked in history in unexpected and surprising ways. God chooses unlikely people to be leaders. God chooses unlikely times for action. God chooses unlikely methods to make plans come to fruition. This is probably because God has the advantage of timelessness and ultimate perspective. But that means that we need to recognize the superiority of God’s plans and God’s vision and yield our own. And this is hard, especially when we look at a small child in a simple feeding trough as the Savior of the World. But that’s the way God works. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As we move through the beginning of the Christian year at Advent and the calendar year in January, let us work together to see God’s perfect vision and plan. Let us expect the unexpected, and look for God’s leading in unexpected ways and places without fear. “Don’t be afraid. I bring good news to you – wonderful joyous news for all people!” There is something amazing looming on the horizon, and I’m so excited to be part of whatever it is coming our way. Let us embrace God’s vision for this time and this place with the same excitement given by shepherds to an unexpected child in a manger in Bethlehem.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Brian Siegle

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