Advent at the Chapel: Shepherds Fear Not

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How the shepherds respond: They fear not.

 

by Zach Intveld

Throughout the Bible, fear seems to be the common response whenever someone encounters a divine visitation. What a relief it must be when the first words uttered by such a visitor are, “fear not”. This is the situation a handful of shepherds in Bethlehem found themselves in over two thousand years ago. What they experienced we still talk about to this day.

An announcement suited more for political rulers or spiritual leaders was instead given to lowly shepherds. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). God’s promise of a messiah, given all the way back in the garden of Eden, had been fulfilled.

By now, the fear that overwhelmed the shepherds had turned into joy as well as an urgency to see the child “now”. Luke records that they “made haste” to the manger where Jesus lay. I wonder how fast they were going!

We worship a God who is accessible, and like the shepherds on that historic day, we need to seek the Lord Jesus Christ with the same joy and excitement that they did. What do we have to fear when our minds and our hearts are fixed on Jesus?

 

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For Advent devotions this year, we are using Pastor Tim Keller’s themes in his new book  Hidden Christmas

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Anticipating Advent: Fear Not!

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photo by Bonnie Patterson of last night’s Chapel Sunday School Christmas program

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Luke 2: 10

Can there be more beautiful words than these?  It must be the most wonderful song ever sung:

Don’t be afraid; be holding on to these words tightly.

I have come especially to tell you this; you have been chosen to be the first to hear.

This isn’t just good news; this is the greatest news ever!

This isn’t just going to make you happy;  you will be overjoyed!

This isn’t just news for you alone; this is for everyone, everywhere, for every time, for evermore.

The best gift of all has been given; no one, not one, has been left out.

And this song was sung for us all to hear.

Behold.  Be holding tight.  To His Word.  To each other.  To Him.
~Emily Gibson