I thought I would take a break from all the writing and publishing stuff I normally talk about, and share some observations about the holiday. With all the shopping and running here and there, we sometimes lose the joy and warmth that is supposed to go with Christmas. Sadly, children and spouses often get to open packages under a tree, but do not receive the most important gift of love. We spend money we do not have with plastic cards, then dread to look at the statement when it arrives in the mail. The Christmas season turns into a time of fear and loneliness, for many who have lost loved ones, or are faced with celebrating by themselves, due to broken families. In view of this, please let me share four little statements from the Bible that might help.
- In Luke chapter 1, verse 13, an angel tells Zacharias not to fear, because God has heard his prayers. We tend to forget the simple fact that God does hear our prayers, and He cares about us. He knows when you're lonely, hurting, or fearing the future. God does hear your prayers and cares about you.
- In Luke chapter 1, verse 30, the angel tells Mary not to be afraid, because she has found favor with God. I like the Phillips Translation of that verse which says, “God loves you dearly.” Soon, Mary was going to find that she was pregnant, even though she was a virgin. She was carrying the Son Of God, something that had to be overwhelming and fearful. But, in the midst of that, she could believe that God loved her dearly. He loves you too, just as much. He loves you enough to die for you.
- In Matthew chapter 1, verse 20, the angel tells Joseph not to fear, because the baby Mary was carrying was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He could rest in the assurance that his soon to be bride was pure. That was a big order that required an actual heavenly messenger to appear physically. While none of us will ever have to face what Joseph faced, we can rest assured that God does love those we love, and even more so. He does hear us when we pray for them, and will take care of them. Perhaps not exactly the way we wished, but he does care for them better that we can.
- In Luke chapter 2, verse 10, the angel tells the shepherds not to be afraid, because he was there to tell them about a baby being born in Bethlehem, who would become the savior of the world. It is odd that he chose to tell shepherds, since they were normally over-looked as a lower class than others. But what a message! God doesn't care if your rich or poor, He doesn't care about the color of your skin, or how educated you are. He still loves you dearly, just the way you are.
So this Christmas season, please remember, God loves you dearly.