This world seems a little crazy doesn’t it? It’s not a new situation, really. On that first Christmas, the world was in desperate times, too. A census was being conducted in order to raise already high taxes. Murderous, paranoid Herod the Great is king of the Jews. It is winter on Bethlehem’s hillsides — and cold. Inside a cave in the town sit a poverty-stricken carpenter and his young wife — far from home, chilled to the bone. She is in labor. Her child will be born in a stable, of all places. “Why is it like this?” she may have asked.
And then she recalls an echo of the angel’s words to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary….”
On the windswept hillsides outside of town, shepherds are huddling, too. All of a sudden the sky lights up. It’s pretty clear that these poor hard-working boys and men were terrified. God knew they would be frightened and ensured that the angel’s first words would be “Fear not.”
“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Fear not. The shepherds’ fear is turned to joy as they hear news that a Savior is born. The Messiah! In Bethlehem, the city of David himself!
And so they run down the hillsides into the town and hurry from stable to stable until they find the Child in the manger, just as they have been told. Tucked in that manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes against the cold, is the Savior himself.
A Savior comes to rescue people in danger, preserve those who are threatened by harm, and protect his people from the troubles that surround them. That’s what saviors do! That’s what Jesus came to do for us.
Do not be afraid because God has sent a Savior to us — Jesus Christ the Lord. He is the One who will:
- Never leave us or forsake us.
- Supply all our needs according to his riches in glory.
- Add to us all the things we need as we seek him and his Kingdom.
Jesus is the Savior who can turn every dark, horrible, rotten, bad thing into a place of glory. Could that be why He made sure to be born in a filthy barn? In the middle of the night? Wherever Christ enters – all darkness and fear is dispelled.
Wishing you faith for today,