• Beth Hildebrand

May You Feel Hope And Peace This Season

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Good morning, afternoon or evening! I hope whenever you read this, you’ll be able to take a deep breath, rest your souls for a few minutues and be encouraged. This is the beginning of the second and last week of this little series, “Our Savior and Shepherd” this Christmas season. So since you’re here, let’s continue…

“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:18-21)

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Joseph was obviously scared. Was he scared for his reputation going south because rumors could fly that he either slept with his fiancé before they were married, or he was engaged to a girl who “got around.” Was he scared of hurting Mary’s feelings and breaking her heart as he broke up with her because there really did seem to be a connection between the two of them? Those struggles along with the extreme fear of an angel of God looking you in the face and talking directly to you can make anyone afraid. Hey, almost every angels’ first words in the Bible are “Do not be afraid!” (they’re not the cute little angels we see on Hallmark baby cards.)

Today we also read when Jesus spoke to his disciples about the Holy Spirit because they didn’t seem to know what the Holy Spirit was all about.  Once again, as Jesus told them, and us, we are not to be afraid about anything or be troubled because Jesus gives us peace that passes all understanding.  (And Peace is one of the weeks of Advent)

Then, even farther back in history, David wrote Psalm 23 as we reflected about verse 4 this past Friday how “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”

Let’s MEMORIZE THAT PROMISE, or put a big “P” around Psalm 23:4 and John 14:27 so when we begin to fear the future of our little ones, fear of relationships falling apart, fear the unknown, or fear the what-if’s, the Holy Spirit will remind us of those specific verses.

As we continue to be in the middle of this Advent season, may you feel the hope and peace that passes all understanding of the coming of our Savior – then and still yet to come!

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