As I laid in bed this morning, our Advent journey drawing towards the culmination of all of our hopes and preparations, I thought about the capacity I have for fearfulness. I expend way too much time and energy worrying about what might happen. The beautiful thing about our Lord’s coming is that we no longer have to be afraid of what the future holds, because he holds our future. It doesn’t matter what might happen, because Jesus will be there to carry us through it. The words in the opening verse of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” give voice to the beauty of this truth.
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
This quote by artist and blogger Cas Andersen @ la cas de la valise captures the meaning:
O little town of Bethlehem – the whole world has wanted a reason or a way to meet God without fear – and the whole world will do just that within your small borders. And as Eternity will collide with time and a Son of God is born on earth, so our hopes and fears will collide and neutralize into a little baby… we will realize how accessible He has become… we will realize He is all we need.
Jesus is accessible, and he is all we need. Fear not! Perfect love casts out all fear. Our hope is in him, the everlasting Light! If we would only let ourselves, we can release all of our fears and live in the New Year as God meant us to – no longer afraid but instead, confident in the hope of our Savior born on Christmas day. What an incredible Christmas gift! With grateful hearts, let us allow ourselves to receive it and have a New Year filled with the joy and peace that our Lord came here to give us. Thank you Heavenly Father, for the greatest gift of all! Come Lord Jesus, come!
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Today’s Activity: Read the following verses:
Over and over again God reassures us through His word that we need not fear for He is with us. Choose one of the verses above to memorize, and when you start feeling fearful, focus on God’s promises and believe in them. You don’t have to be afraid of storms, for you know the One who provides shelter.
Nancy Golden earned her master’s degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. She is an adjunct faculty member at Dallas Christian College and she and her husband Phil are members of the Church of the Nazarene in Carrollton, Texas where they serve in various capacities. Today’s blog post is an excerpt (Day Twenty Four) from her Advent devotional book – Taking Back Advent: Moving from the Mundane to the Miraculous, for sale just in time for the holidays. It is now available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback. Nancy hopes you’ll consider adding this devotional to your holiday tradition and join her in Taking Back Advent as we move through the Christmas season!