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Friday, December 19, 2008

A Special Annoucement

As the time gets closer to Christmas, I've been hearing some of the most beautiful music being played on the radio. Yesterday while I was out, and stuck in traffic, I heard the song, Emmanuel by Amy Grant. It was not long before I was bellowing out the chorus right along with her, albeit a little out of key.

Wonderful, Counselor,

Lord of life, Lord of all;
He’s the Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Holy One!

I just could not get that chorus out of my head for the rest of my day. It was such a needed reprieve from all the bad news I had been hearing about our economy, and so many other things around the world. Many times it seems like things just can't get any worse…and then they do.

Circumstances were really not much different when the announcement came to those shepherds on that clear and starry night that a Redeemer would come. History tells us that at the time of our Lord's birth there was widespread despair and weariness in Israel. Yet in the midst of all that turmoil came the proclamation that would change the course of mankind forever:

The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." {Luke 2:10-11 NIV}

What is so striking to me in this announcement is the words that were first spoken…

"Do not be afraid".

Men were very afraid in that day. Herod the Great was on the throne. He was a cruel leader who was able to execute his wrath upon anyone that became the object of his disfavor. He had personally put many to death including those of his own family. Then there were the Romans with their legions of soldiers keeping Israel under severe oppression and harsh bondage.
Yet the message to the shepherds was…“Fear Not”.

Just watching the newscast each night, it's easy to start to wonder what kind of trouble this New Year will bring? Just think how it would sound today if right in the middle of the evening news on CNN we heard…

We interrupt this broadcast to make this Special Announcement…“Do not be afraid. We bring you good news of great joy that today a Savior has been born to you who is Christ the Lord."

That’s really just about what happened 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem when God interrupted the program.

Still today as we consider the words of that most celebrated announcement, isn’t it reassuring to know that He has everything under control? Truly Jesus is our Savior and Deliverer. He is a Mighty God, and the Prince of Peace. We need not be afraid. Not one of His promises will fail, and He will give us all the strength and courage we need to face all of our tomorrows.

Today, I pray that you will take time to remember Emmanuel. Truly He is the Lord of life, and Lord of all. I trust that in this Christmas season, the Spirit of the Savior will flood your heart with abundant Peace, and bring you great Joy.
Blessings to you and to all!

Some things to ponder:

When is the last time you allowed fear to steal your joy?

In the midst of all that is going on have you felt Emmanuel is truly with you?

Lord I pray for my special sisters in Christ as they are making their final preparations for Christmas this year. Comfort those who are going through hard times, and remind them you are truly there with them. I pray as our families come together we feel your presence Father. May your love guide us and sustain us in this new coming year. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Lord let us never forget your redeeming work in our lives. You have been faithful to lead us, to guide us, and to protect us in our journey here on earth. I praise and bless your holy name. Amen.

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Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

Susan this was beautiful and a wonderful reminder.
Thank you for sharing your heart.

December 19, 2008 at 5:04 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

This was really lovely sweetie.

December 19, 2008 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger Laurie Ann said...

What a beautiful reminder to not let fear steal from us what Christ has come to bring! Excellent devotion, Susan.

December 19, 2008 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

This is wonderful. That is one of my fav songs, and I love the way you plugged it into this message. I so long to stay constantly focused on faith instead of fear.

December 19, 2008 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Marsha said...

Lovely post. Did you know that the phrase fear not is in the Bible 365 times? hmmm.

December 19, 2008 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

Excellent! I know Satan wants to steal my joy but never thought he does it through fear. I've always pictured him using doubt and discouragement.

I needed this today! Wow. Thank you.

December 19, 2008 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

The "Do not be afraid..." in this verse has always jumped right out at me, too. I love how you applied this to our current world circumstances. Oh, how glorious it would be to hear these words on the news today!

Merry Christmas, Susan!

December 19, 2008 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

As I ponder your thoughts here, I think I'm rather glad to be on the backside of that announcement some 2000 years ago. Truth, lived out over the course of 2000 years bodes strong for the hearts receiving. I wonder if I would have been so quick to understand and receive my Salvation had I been in the midst of my Gentile estate back then. I'm pretty sure I would have missed it.

Thank God for birthing my life in this this season...when I have the beautiful landscape of yesterday to frame my faith. For the saints who have traversed the witness of Jesus Christ throughout the generations to land in my heart even now.

I am ever grateful to them for their perseverance and their persecution for the cause of Jesus Christ.

How could they have known, even then, how the message of that night has survived the plight of two millenia? It's an amazing Gift of grace. One that I gladly unwrap, day after day, year after year, one Christmas celebration after another.

We should never grow weary in our thanks.

Didn't mean to write my own post here; your thoughts have just sparked a light in my heart tonight.

Merry Christmas, Susan. The Light has come! Thank you for so faithfully allowing him a wick in your own heart and life.


December 19, 2008 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger Today's Christian Mom~ said...

What a beautiful blessing this was to me today Susan. So true and yet something so easy to forget we need to be reminded. Thank you.

December 20, 2008 at 1:26 PM  

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