And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 KJV
Fear not: for, behold
“There is no fear in love” was my first post after the Covid shutdown in March 2020. Like many churches and schools across the nation back then, Bethany Lutheran Church and Early Childhood Education Center in Fishersville, Virginia, closed for two weeks or until further notice. Our pastor set forth three guiding points for this decision, starting with: “We live by faith, in the love God has for us through His son, and not in fear.”
“Fear not,” said the angel, the messenger sent from the Lord to the shepherds abiding in the fields. It must have been terrifying to have been visited by this angelic being, who radiated the magnificence of God. But God is love and perfect love casts out fear.
For, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy
God chose to reveal this news to simple shepherds, who believed the prophecies of old and demonstrated steadfastness by faithfully tending their flock of sheep. The angel said, “for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
The second point our pastor made: “Our faith is our witness; we take care of neighbors and don’t endanger them.” Taking care of one another is a great honor, a blessing. As the Good Shepherd takes care of us all, Jew and Gentile.
Yesterday, the third Sunday in Advent, we lit the joy candle. Joy to all people who behold, who step into fear, who witness. During communion, the music director and I played, “What Child is This?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLq34hGRE6Y starting at 57:30.
What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Behold… for unto you is born a Savior
God’s promise fulfilled. “…born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” A loving Savior.
Pastor’s third and final guiding point: “Our witness expresses faithfulness; we obey authorities as long as they do not ask us to disobey God.”
Obedience to God. Our witness, our faithfulness. Our Behold.
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