Whether you recall Linus' recitation in a Charlie Brown Christmas, or whether you numbly listen to it being read again this Christmas Eve service, Luke 2 is probably pretty familiar territory. Maybe it is so familiar, that like me you have come to only think of those precious words in terms of a quiet stable, a quiet sheepfold, and a baby laying silently in a mound of hay.
Last Sunday, my pastor challenged my understanding, and opened my eyes to a spiritual truth in that simple story that I need to meditate on daily; that if I really grasp it, will change my every moment from here on. (You can listen to his sermon here: http://wlachurch.org/resources/WLA_560.mp3 but finish reading my blog first!)
In case there is anyone actually reading this blog, outside of the 5 close friends and family that I know check in here periodically, allow me to introduce a bit of my personality to you. I am a woman driven by fear: fear of circumstances, fear of failing, fear of people, fear of man's opinions, fear of all the 'what if's' of this life...Fear.
If the fear of man is a snare, then I am a little fox with her poor ankle smashed nearly irreparably in its hinges. (and no, that does not make me a foxy mama).
But the insight I gained on Sunday may have begun the freedom and release from fear that I need. Let me explain.
Luke 2 finds us out in the field with the shepherds watching over their flocks by night. Sound familiar yet? I'm sure you remember that when the angels appeared, the shepherds were "sore afraid". So what do the angels say? Pretty sensibly, and predictably they say "Fear Not, for I bring you good news of Great Joy that is for all people. For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord.". Okay. I get that. Angels talking to shepherds 2000 years ago about their immediate need. Doesn't really apply to me.
But our pastor read it this way, "I say to you TODAY "Fear not, for I bring YOU good news of Great Joy, that is for ALL PEOPLE (including you and me). For on THAT DAY in the city of David there has been born for YOU a Savior who is Christ the Lord."
Oh. So something about that baby being born way back then has something to do with me not fearing. Well, sure. I know, He is my Savior so on the Last Day when I stand at Judgement I don't need to fear because Christ saved me from my sins. But what about today? What about everyday between now and then?
The Westminster Cathechism says that Christ has three offices: Prophet, Priest, and King. So on that day in the city of David not only was my Savior born but also my Prophet, Priest and King.
The Cathechism says that I need Christ to be Prophet because I am ignorant; Priest, because I am guilty, and King because I am weak and helpless. Sounds like the roots of all my fears.
So Lord, let me meditate, live in, dwell on, hold fast to, love, and soak in the truth that I can Fear Not. You were born not only to be the Savior from my sins and to free me from the condemnation of Judgement at the Last Day, but also to be the Prophet to teach me the Will of God everyday, the Priest to forgive my sins everyday, and the King to rule and defend me everyday.
That should all add up to a very Merry Christmas, and the happiest of all New Years.