Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25

There are two versions of the birth of Christ in the Gospels. Luke’s version is full of amazement and wonder, and while fear is present, it is more of a sense of awe of all God can do rather than a fear of something bad happening. Matthew’s version, however, contains a very real fear: fear of rejection of Mary by Joseph; fear by Herod of what the birth of the Messiah, called the King of the Jews, means for him; and fear for Mary, Joseph and Jesus for Jesus’ own life.

As we prepare for Christ to enter our lives in a new way, are we afraid to actively participate in the reign of God? Are we afraid of speaking out and offending others? Are we afraid of losing our own status in society? Are we afraid of losing our own life? Or are we really afraid that to follow Christ and prepare for his coming again, we would have to change the way we live? What fears are holding you back this Advent season, and where can you let go of your fears and embrace the awe and wonder of Christ doing a new thing in our world and in our lives?

God of Wonder, Amazement and Awe, guide us to living lives worthy of following You. Help us to let go of our fears and embrace the wonder and amazement, even if we are looked down upon or lose favor among friends. Lord, help us to let go of our earthly fears and embrace heavenly awe. In the name of Christ, who is coming again in a new way, we pray. Amen.

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