Having engaged once more with the Christmas story of God entering the world in Bethlehem through Jesus, we are reminded through God’s angelic messengers ‘do not be afraid’. We saw fear in Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the Shepherds and with the encouragement of the angels they all faced their fears and in so doing saw the amazing glory of God.
The above photo was taken on Boxing Day and shows our grandson Archie giving our niece’s dog Mable, a cuddle. Archie has a real fear of dogs, when we go out walking if a dog comes near, he cowers behind us and if it is off its lead we often need to pick him up. Over this last couple of years, as a family we have all been trying to encourage him overcome his fear and moments like this become landmark achievements.
In our journey with Christ as individuals and church we can often have fears of doing the things he calls us to do and indeed, we can all confess that we have allowed our fears to hold us back from fully living out the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. At both churches we are in the process of agreeing our mission intensions, those things we have discerned together where God is calling us move forward and yet unless we all commit to God to action and achieve them, we are in danger of stagnating as church in our journey.
Let’s pray that none of us will allow fear to prevent us from doing God’s work as church and individuals and take to heart the words Jesus said to his disciples;
“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14.27
Let us as a family in Christ encourage each other to face our fears and to take strength from each other as we journey through 2022. May we recommit ourselves to follow Christ wherever he may lead us, being bold in doing his mission and sharing his love in our communities, so that through this journey together we will see the glory of God.
Wishing you every blessing for 2022
Your friend and servant