It’s finally December and many of us are anxious for 2020 to wrap up and be gone. It has been a year of the unexpected—from being told to stay home, forced to watch church online, kids home from school, job loss, delayed weddings, vacations cancelled, relationship issues magnified—the list is endless.
And now, the Christmas season is upon us. It, too, will have the unexpected and the unusual. There is nothing welcoming or usual about a family ZOOM Christmas or people around the dinner table via FaceTime. We can easily become discontent over what we are missing or don’t have this year.
Yet, there is another option. We can choose to focus on what we do have—the God of the impossible, who sent an angel to break into the world of a young, virgin girl to tell her she would bear a son who would be the Savior of the world! That, in and of itself, is motivation to reframe our have-nots into haves! But wait, there is more. The angel, Gabriel, told Mary two specific things that we also need to hear and remember this Christmas. First, fear not. Do not be afraid. Fear can stop us in our tracks, paralyze us, and keep us from enjoying each day. It can stop us from moving forward with what God has asked of us or with an opportunity he has placed before us. It can stop us from looking at the blessings in a situation. Why let that be your story? Look your situation in the face and fear not!
Second, God is with you. He is Immanuel meaning God with us! This is why we don’t have to be afraid (or disappointed or …). Mary needed the assurance that she was not embarking on this life-changing journey alone. God was with her. The all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God of heaven and earth was with her. It doesn’t get more personal than that. And friend, He is with you.
Whatever you are facing this Christmas, I encourage you to reframe it in light of the awesome truth that the Savior of the world, of our personal world, has come. Therefore, we do not have to fear because He is always with us no matter what. This leads to a merry Christmas!
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you…do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God…”. Luke 1:26-38