On High Alert

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Starting today, and through all our Catches leading up to Christmas, we will be following the tradition of Advent. Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity and the coming of Jesus.

This Christmas, the whole world is on high alert. The orange color of high alert is threatening to overcome the traditional red and green of Christmas. Fear and distrust are paramount. When company Christmas parties can become scenes of massacre from inside the ranks, suddenly no one feels safe. Now, more than ever, a weary world needs something to rejoice about.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15) Ever since these words of prophesy were directed at the serpent who tempted Eve, every expectant Jewish mother has wondered if her child would be the one who would fulfill the promises of a Messiah that repeatedly show up in the Old Testament and the Jewish Talmud, and crush the head of Satan.

Jews are still waiting. Christians are echoing that wait, leading up to Christmas, as a way of remembering the world Christ came into. It was not that much better than this one. An argument could be made that it was worse. Witness, for instance, the terror of King Herod slaughtering all male children born to Jews as a result of hearing the announcement that a prophesied king was among them.

So, if the Messiah has come, why isn’t it any better today? Wasn’t Christ supposed to bring peace on Earth? Yes, and He did. He brought the peace that passes all understanding that floods the hearts and minds of all those who believe in Him — who believe that He was the promised one and through Him all people can have life, and life eternal.

So peace did come, and it can come to you right now by faith. Won’t you receive Him? He came to Bethlehem one holy night, but He can be born in your heart right now. You don’t have to wait for Christmas. I would not want to face this weary world without Him.

A thrill of hope — the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

ADVENT QUESTION: 

  1. The word fear has many synonyms (despair, doubt, horror, panic, awe, worry, cowardliness, distress, faintheartedness, reverence, cold feet, etc.). What is your definition of the opposite of fear, and how is it manifested in your everyday life?

ADVENT CONVERSATIONS:

  • Scroll down to record your answer as a comment.
  • Post and Tweet the question on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Use #CatchAdvent.
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10 Responses to On High Alert

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Good Catch!

    To provide an answer to my definition of the word Fear – I once learned from my Amway/Nutrilite Biz stands for this: FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

  2. crazycoach32 says:

    The Bible says that perfect Love cast out all fear. First one must know that perfect love is Jesus or God’s love. Love is not God, God is love and there is a big difference. Whenever I am feeling the synonyms listed in the catch today I know that I am believing a lie about God, because God is perfect love and He loves me. He will not withhold from me so I bring myself back to who he is and that helps me deal with those doubts and moves me to a better place.

  3. Cannon Ingalls says:

    In my experience, the opposite of fear is ‘awareness.’ I live in Columbia, MO, the site of campus protests, and some online threats in response to those protests. Our church is a campus community, so we were directly affected by all of this. A couple students texted and called me about what was going on, and let me know about the mood on campus. What stood out to me was the fact that students were responding to texts, tweets, and Facebook updates, but I noticed that no one, including several church staff, had attempted to independently confirm these rumors. A few rumors: a truck full of KKK’ers were riding around Greektown (false), dorms were supposedly on lockdown (false), the student center was being evacuated (partially false; an area was being cleared for those who had camped out on the quad over the past week). The students were circulating so many rumors, freaking each other out, stirring up each others fears. No one seemed willing to put down their phones and look outside. These fears now seem to be minor compared to Paris or San Bernardino. But it does take a bit of courage to open the door and go outside (or what the online equivalent may be) and actually look at what’s going on instead of letting others tell you what’s going on out there.

  4. Therese says:

    The opposite of fear is faith. There are so many things in this world we can fear. Fears can be emotional, financial, physical; they can range from war and violence to not having basic resources or not wanting to be alone. However, if we have faith, if we trust God will always provide what we need and He will always walk alongside us, we can overcome fear and move forward.

  5. Lynne says:

    The opposite of fear…Jesus.

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