In the dark of the night
under stars shining bright,
quiet except for a bleat
from a sheep that couldn't sleep,
shepherds faithfully kept watch
for sheep tend to get lost
then wild animals prey
on lone sheep gone astray.
Suddenly without warning
one night long before morning
the glory of the Lord shone around,
brighter than the noonday sun shining down,
causing these humble shepherds to be overcome with fear personified -
afraid, frightened, panicked, petrified, terrified for their very lives.
Heart stopping, shaking in their sandals,
consuming fear gripped their innards.
Not only did the glory of the Lord shine around,
an angel of the Lord of heaven and earth came down,
who immediately spoke timeless words of comfort and cheer
to allay any hint of overwhelming worry or fear.
Words that even today calms our fears:
“Do not be afraid” or “Do not fear.”
Words that God's Word repeats over and over for fear
grips our fickle hearts depleting it of joy or cheer.
The angel declared words of hope to the shepherds that night.
Words of good news that brought great joy dispelling their fright.
These words of hope triumphed over any fear;
in fact, turned their fear into holy, reverent/awed fear
for these shepherds quickly hurried to Bethlehem
where they found exactly what the angel had told them.
The promised Messiah, Christ the Lord, God's Son,
the long-awaited Savior, had finally come!
That moment of quaking fear one starry night in the field
had now turned into holy, reverent/awed fear, though not stilled,
for these shepherds told everyone, giving testimony,
repeated down through the ages – the first Christmas story.
A holy, reverent/awed fear where they could not
not stop glorifying and praising God.
Those who heard their report were amazed!
Hope soared again. Prayers of thankfulness raised.
Just think, Christ was born at the time of the census
when the city was full of King David's descendants.
This wonderful, glorious news must have traveled quickly
from house to house, inn to inn, great joy added to the revelry
of seeing long-lost loved ones, friends and family, who had come
not knowing that God's promise to Isaiah would finally come
one miraculous night in an unpretentious stable, lives now guaranteed a new lease -
our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Those returning home continued to spread the good news
until this present-day civilized world also knew
that Jesus had come, He came to save
and through His love for us His life He gave.
This good news still reaches out to hurting human hearts today
as in the name of Jesus, God's peace is only a prayer away.
Yes, our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father,
our Prince of Peace
can turn our quaking fears into a holy, reverent fear that brings great joy
and abiding peace.
When fear comes
go to the One
who is waiting to hear from you.
Abide in Him each day anew.
The promised Immanuel, God with us,
will relieve our fears when we learn to trust.
Turn whatever it is that brings fear into holy, reverent fear
by glorifying and praising God each and every day of the year.
* * * * *
Fear, in the form of worry,
dispels any peace or calmness.
This fear doesn't bring God glory.
In fact, worry is doubting God's goodness.
Worry says: God isn't big enough,
as we worry out loud “I've had enough!”
giving credence to whatever troubles us
which ends up eroding our faith, hope, and trust.
There is a God-honoring fear.
It's holy, reverent fear.
It's being in awe of God Almighty.
Showing Him respect continually.
To esteem the Lord God is to love Him,
by obeying His commandments found within
God's Holy Word, the Bible.
Holy fear will enable.
Unholy fear disables
doubting it's possible.
Holy fear has hope in God
who sustains us when times are hard.
Christmas reminds us
that God is with us
as our personal, loving Immanuel
giving us hope through what seems impossible.
How deplorable, this holy, reverent fear so absent from today's society,
where OMG degrades the one true God's holiness every second continually,
where God and His Word, His good-for-us principles, are absent from the majority,
and noticeably absent from so-called "Christmas" celebrations and festivities.
Tell someone today about how the shepherds quaking fear
was forever changed into holy, reverent godly fear.
Perhaps they too will exchange daily worry
into a testimony for God's glory.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people."
Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph,
and the baby who was lying in the manger.
When they had seen him,
they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God
for all the things they had heard and seen,
which were just as they had been told.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.