As we head into the ending of another year, sometimes it's helpful to reflect on the year we have just journeyed through. For many of us, 2022 had its challenges and maybe, like me, you're still trying to adjust to that "new normal" everyone mentions.
Phrases like "do not be afraid" or "fear not" appear throughout the Bible more than 300 times. Many say that there's a verse that contains that phrase for every day of the year.
In Luke 2:9, even the shepherds watching their sheep at night were told when an angel approached them, "Do not be afraid." The angel brought them the greatest gift. It was a gift of good news - the news of great joy for all the people.
The gift of true joy was announced the day Jesus was born.
Since the pandemic began in 2020, many of us have faced unspeakable losses, challenges and so much change from what we considered normal. The promise of joy that comes with the birth of Jesus is an opportunity to go from sorrow to joy, from grief to gladness, and from old to new.
Joy is possible because he makes all things new. Rest in the gift of the Lord this Christmas. Remember that God gave his only Son to us so we wouldn't have to be afraid or walk this life alone.
Jesus is God's gift to us, and he truly is the gift that keeps on giving as long as we remember his love and sacrifice.
May you and your family have a blessed Christmas.