The First 15

Tuesday December 20, 2022

by Thomas Mitchell

Today is Tuesday, December 20 and this week will conclude our journey through the Advent season as we cling to Jesus as Lord of the absolutely terrified.

Scripture Reading

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 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 that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12


The shepherds were part of the same faith-family story as Jesus and are remembered for their wonder that starry night– but also their sheer terror. How would you like to be remembered? As “joyful” and “courageous” or “terrified” and “afraid”?

Unfortunately, the shepherds didn’t get to choose. They were terrified and all of history knows it. But, God was on the move. We honor the shepherds when we recognize that in their shock, they were terrified because of the awesome display of God at work in the cosmic drama unfolding before them. However, while their initial posture was that of fear, they quickly became “incarnation evangelists” as they told others what they had seen. Perhaps you can remember a time in your own journey of faith when you were plain, raw, straight-up scared. How did you respond? In those times of challenge, we remember the shepherds– and take heart.

Philippians 4:6-7 says that we are to be anxious about nothing. In these verses we hear both the command and the compassion of the writer. Paul knows we need peace in our fear and suggests that we might find it on the other side of prayer and proximity with our Father.

The next time you find yourself fearful, know that the Lord is with you and is about something in the background that will not derail the plans he has for you. Lean into him in prayer.

Can you think of a moment this past year when you were terrified or afraid and felt beside yourself in worry? How did the Lord meet you? What is your testimony on the other side? Have you shared that testimony with anyone that might need encouragement in their own fear?

Closing Prayer

God, thank you for meeting me in my fear. Protect my heart from being lost in my worst expectation, and create in me, by your Spirit, a heart that expects your best. In Jesus name, Amen.

Songs of the Season

Listen and sing along with us to songs that will shape our Advent season. Today we will sing “Fear Thou Not” by Josh Garrels which you can find here.

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