A Message from our Pastor:
“Reflecting on the Third Candle of Advent: Joy”
“The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst; you will no longer fear evil.”—Zephaniah 3:15b (CEB)
Who among us doesn’t fear something? Into each human life, some fears must intrude.
Perhaps the biggest fear we have concerns our health as our bodies and minds become more and more chronologically advanced.
As Caregivers, we fear for the safety and wellbeing of our children, our parents or spouses in a variety of ways.
For both the young and old among us, fear of the future is always lurking in the backs of our minds. Fear of going off to college next year, fear of changes happening within the lives of our children, fear of changes in our source of income, and even fear for our safety and security as we go out into the world.
Fear is an ever-present reality that we cannot vanquish by denying or avoiding it.
As we continue our Advent journey to Bethlehem, we need to admit that fear is as much a part of the Christmas story as hope, peace and joy. But to get to the Christmas Joy, we must pass through those fears, with the assurance that our fearsome and powerful God is watching and protecting us, just as He watched over His own flesh and blood, the Christ Child, as he slept in the “Little Town of Bethlehem.”
Some Questions for Reflection:
What fears do you have this Advent Season?
Are these fears stronger than your fear of the Lord?
In what way(s) are you contributing to the fears others have?
Is there an area of your life where you need to let go, and let God be in control?
The Joy of the Christ child is an invitation for us to move through our fears and grasp the Good News that God is with us.
Almighty God, true Hope, Peace and Joy for all the world, hear our prayers during this time of waiting. We hear your call to journey toward the light of your joy, and yet we stumble. Our journey toward your promise of Christ’s coming is filled with doubt, pain and fear. Our losses, our worries overtake us, so that we live in darkness of fear rather than moving toward your light of meaning and purpose. Create in us the thread of hope that pulls us forward to the miracle of new life. Create in us a clean spirit so that our journey is no longer weary but filled with energy of a joyous adventure! As the Christ child comes, so we, too, come back to you this day. Amen.
(Hebrew: [saw-makh’]; rejoice, be glad)