The Messengers of Christmas

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What do you fear?

The other week Daniel and I stayed up late and watched the next movie in the Harry Potter Series: The Prisoner of Askaban. In one scene the students are given the task to face their fears. They can only face their fears when they acknowledge them.

Some fear sickness and death.

As I prepare for another funeral this week, just a graveside, I can attest we in the St. Paris area have seen tremendous amount of death just the past 11 months. It is tragic. It is awful. Some have been preventable. Death is a reminder that this world is not “okay”. We and the world need to be redeemed.

Some fear loss of freedom.

This is understandable. No one wants what they have to be taken aware. This is especially true in the sense that we as a nation have the greatest freedoms the world has ever known.

Fear can enslave.

We can see this taking shape all around us. Zach Williams has a newer song out titled, Fear is a Liar where we read/hear these words, “ Fear he is a liar,He will take your breath, Stop you in your steps, Fear he is a liar, He will rob your rest, Steal your happiness, Cast your fear in the fire Cause fear he is a liar

The Sunday of Peace and/or Angels

Today on the second Sunday of advent we are reminded of the gift of peace. This peace was first mentioned by the angel Gabriel to Mary and then to the Shepherds.

Fear is part of the Christmas Story.

This is our hope, and our peace. Fear is not anti-Christmas. Instead if as is my goal today we will allow our fears be swallowed by Christmas.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The act of Christmas: the incarnation of Jesus into our world I believe let loose a cosmic battle. Yet, we have messengers of Christmas who gives us peace in the midst of the battle. Gives us hope in the midst of darkness, and joy to use against the fears of life.

Essential characters: Angels, God’s messengers.

We cannot have Christmas without the angels. To some extent we see these as background characters and below the shepherds, magi, etc.

Angels were associated with judgment.

During the time of the birth of Jesus the prevailing imagery of angels were that of war and judgment. Unlike our modern day image of angels depicted as soft and cuddly, this is not the image of Scripture nor the first century Jew.

Fear is overcome by grace.

Each appearance of the angels is accompanied by fear. Each act of fear is dealt with by grace.

The message: there is a Savior, Messiah, Lord who is God.

Luke 2:11 NIV
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
No where in all of Scripture do we have these words so closely together.

So what does this mean for us this Christmas?

This is a great question.

Regain the sense of fear of the Lord.

As I have looked at the Christmas passages again this day never were any of the characters chastised because of the fear they showed. In part, because we need to have a proper fear of God.

Respond to God’s grace.

We have all received grace. Some if not most of us have recieved the grace of salvation.

Keep Christ in the Christian.

Personally, and this is truly just me, I have no time to keep Christ is Christmas because I think that is the wrong battle. I expect people who have not received, responded, nor understand the grace of Christ to act in ways contrary to the Gospel.
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