There are many messages within the Christmas story. Messages of hope, deliverance, survival, peace and even fear are all wrapped in the story that tells of a savior in a manger.
This year the fear component struck a chord in me. I can understand Mary being fearful when told that she – a virgin – would be giving birth. And not to just any baby but the savior of the world! I can just imagine her thinking that no one was going to believe her. How afraid she must have been contemplating her future.
Then there were the shepherds just hanging out in the field watching their sheep, minding their own business when wham! Here’s comes an angel. We are told that they, too, were afraid – in fact, terrified. The angel goes on to explain that they don’t have to be afraid, that the angel is there to announce the good news about the savior that has been born.
I understand their fright because I am coming out of a fear-filled year. This year I have dealt with financial trials, sickness and even death. I feel that since March I have been constantly buffeted by one storm after another leaving my spirit drained and energy depleted. When tackling grave issues, it seems to me that fear is a natural by-product. What’s going to happen if I make the wrong choice, if I take the wrong path, if I say the wrong thing? The resulting fear is like a shroud that is not easily shaken off.
One thing I’ve come to realize – at least cerebrally (emotionally I’m still grappling) – is that fear doesn’t really change anything. Operating from a position of fear limits possibilities – possibilities that may include success. Of course failure is also a possibility.
But if I have a choice (and truly I do have a choice) I vote to move into a spirit-filled year. I vote for a year in which I discover a calm and peacefulness that is a by-product of faith in that savior who was born in a manger. I vote to have the Holy Spirit that I was promised housed within my soul. That sounds a lot better than biting my nails waiting for another anvil to drop.
And remember: It’s supposed to be a “Sweet ’16.”
As you read this, it’s Christmas Eve. I thank you for supporting the Crescenta Valley Weekly, for patronizing our advertisers who invest in this paper and for subscribing.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.