Trigger warning: Infertility
It’s impossible for me to walk through this season without thinking about pregnancy, and related fears. First, there are Elizabeth and Zechariah, childless. There are Elizabeths all throughout our congregations, women who have hoped for a child, who haven’t been able to realize that hope. Perhaps for them there is an especially poignant fear.
There are Marys too. Women who have motherhood thrust upon them. We like to think of Mary as unflappable, calm in the face of an angelic messenger telling her that her entire life would change. But those angels didn’t say “don’t be afraid” for nothing. Their very presence must have been terrifying.
Throughout Scripture, there are many reminders not to be afraid. I don’t think those words are meant to immediately bring calm. God doesn’t promise that fear will not be present, or even that there is nothing to fear, but God promises to be there.
This message is excerpted from “Always Winter and Never Christmas” by Cara Strickland in the December 2018 Gather magazine. The Blue Christmas service via Zoom is tonight. All are welcome.
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