Christmas is almost here! How has this Christmas season been for you so far? What has been different about it? How much more ‘stuff’ do you have going on before you get a break (do you get a break)? Christmas is one of the many seasons and stories and times in our lives that brings up many questions. These are just a few of them, and others include ‘How long until we get to…?’ ‘When will Santa be here?’ ‘Is it too early to open presents?’ ‘Have you been good this year?’ And of course we’ve got lots of questions asked in the Biblical account of Christmas, where we listen to Mary, Zechariah, Herod, the Wisemen, and Joseph ask questions, and there had to be tons more questions that weren’t written down but were asked during this adventure they all went through both by them and the people they knew and met.
Some of the questions we ask are asked because we’re heading into the unknown or things aren’t clear to us, and we want clarification and understanding. These are important questions to ask and can help us from making big mistakes, or having to do things again because we didn’t understand. Other times we ask questions because we’re excited and can’t wait for something to happen and keep checking in. Then, there’s another set of questions that we ask, and those come from a place of fear or avoidance.
Fear is something that we all deal with at some point in our lives, we all have fears, and we all deal with fear in different ways. Sometimes fear can cripple us, other times we’re able to face our fears and power through them, other times we face them and are wrecked by them. Fear is definitely present in the story of Christmas, I can’t imagine being any of the people and not experiencing some level of fear. Each of the characters face their fears in different ways, some working through those fears with more grace or quicker than others, but all were able to conquer them and became an integral part of the Christmas story.
Since Christmas has already happened and Jesus already came to earth, died for our sins, and rose again, God’s not going to ask any of us to do anything like what Mary, Joseph and crew went through. But God’s still just as present and powerful as He was some 2000 years ago and can and will face any and all challenges with us that we face in the coming days. You may experience fears as you face these challenges, and God will ask you how you will respond, just as He asked the people of the First Christmas. What will your response be?
“”Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”” Luke 2:10b-12