Afraid of the News

by Dec 14, 2019Christmas, Christmas 2019, Devotional

“Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.” ~ Matthew 1:20b
The Christmas story is filled with angelic visits. The angel Gabriel visits Zechariah. Then he visits Mary. An unnamed angel visits Joseph. An entire flock of angels visit the shepherds. In each of these encounters, the heavenly visitors tell their audience not to fear. Most of the time, it’s because the visitor himself is fear-inducing and awe-inspiring. The Bible is short on descriptive language for these angels, but we get the impression that they are magnificent creatures whose very presence leaves people shaking in fear. The angel’s visit to Joseph, however, is a bit different. He still tells Joseph to not be afraid, but it’s for a specific reason, not because of the angel’s powerful aura. “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.” You see, Joseph had been reacting to the news. News that his fiance was pregnant by someone else. News that he was becoming the topic of whispered gossip. News that his hopes and dreams for the future were being shattered. He’d heard the news and, in fear, started making his own plans. So God sends the angel to reassure Joseph of His plan. He confirms that He’s in control and that His plan is good. He repeats His promises from hundreds of years before. Joseph can trust that God has an amazing story for Joseph and his future family and that He’s working out His purpose. It’s easy to be afraid of the news. We may get bad news at work, from a doctor or from a family member. There are terrible things happening every day, both around the world and in our own backyard. It’s tempting to react in fear and make our own plans. But we can still be reassured of God’s plan. He is still in control and His plan is good. His promises from long ago are still true. We can still trust that He is working out His amazing purposes in our story and in that of, our loved ones. Read Matthew 1:18-25

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