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Thursday, December 8, 2011

DO NOT BE AFRAID (Advent 12)

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

When Heaven touches earth from time to time and angels speak, they often assure the people by saying, “Do not be afraid.” Can you imagine how you would feel if Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, were to appear and start talking to you? Mary doesn’t question what Gabriel said to her, that she is favored by God, but she is troubled by why the angel would come to such a humble servant as herself. Would you deny the validity of Gabriel’s words, as Zechariah did, or would you, like Mary, be in fear and awe of the power and presence of the emissary of God? Let us pray:

“God of Heaven and earth, we stand in awe of your love, your power, and your grace. We have heard your name spit out and thrown to the ground like hail stones, until the holiness has been beaten out of it. For this grave disrespect we humbly ask your forgiveness. We cannot change the heart of another, but for ourselves, we will try to monitor the words that come from our own mouth. May we always be aware that our words can offend you as well as others. May we have the faith to recognize the angels in our midst and take to heart the message from you that they bring. We pray to have our fear removed and our reverence for you restored. In the name of Jesus, your sweet son, we pray. Amen”
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2011 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

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