At the beginning of Advent we sing carols of petition and preparation such as O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus. These carols echo Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah’s coming in Isaiah 7:14 where the Lord says, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
In Luke 1 Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, also prophesies of the coming of the Messiah: “The rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” O Come, O Come, Emmanuel turns this prophecy into a prayer: “Disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadows put to flight.”
Just before those words in Luke 1, however, Zechariah says, ”The Lord . . has raised up a horn of salvation . . to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”
Jesus came not only to rescue us but also to enable us to serve God without fear.
Do you struggle with fear?
I have often given in to fear.
At my core I love to please people. In relationships my default setting is to do what I need to do to make certain everything is ok. In reality this default setting can become one of fear.
If I am feeling insecure I become fearful of what others think of me. I make assumptions about what people are thinking. Then I adjust my behavior to suit what I think they might be thinking.
Sound confusing? That’s because it is. Fear complicates life and obscures reality.
Christ came to give the gift of a simple life without fear, just one of his many gifts to us.
Where in your life do you tend to act in fear? How can you rely more on God in that area of your life?