Revelation 14:14-19; Psalm 96:10-13;Luke 21:5-11
“Do not be terrified.” (Luke 21:9)
Time and time again since Jesus walked the earth, predictions of the world’s end have captured public attention, just as they do now, dominating the secular and religious media. But even two thousand years ago, people were asking Jesus the same thing: When will the world end? How will we know it’s happening?
Jesus’ answer is something we all should take to heart: “Do not be terrified” (Luke 21:9). His words resonate with the same comforting assurance he gave when he told his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled” and “Your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom” (John 14:1; Luke 12:32).
In all situations, in the face of every worry, Jesus offers comfort to his people. “Don’t worry; my Father has everything under control,” he tells us. The Church year ends with these same comforting words: “Do not be terrified.” You may see troubling things, you may hear frightening news, but do not be afraid. If only we could all enter into Advent, into the new year, holding fast to this simple phrase: I will not be afraid!
Scripture is clear that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). Everyone who turns to him finds help in times of need. We are loved by One who is both our Shepherd and our Guardian. He has poured his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Do not be terrified, God the Father says, for “I am your shield” (Genesis 15:1). Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will help you. I am your strength, in every situation. Declare, confidently and boldly, I will not be afraid!
Be like a child who trusts that Dad and Mom have it covered, whatever “it” is. Jesus is coming again. The world is going to end. Wars, earthquakes, famines and plagues will occur. You will know all you need to know when the time comes. In the meantime, don’t worry. Don’t be terrified. And your peace will speak truth to others. It will declare the power and presence of God in our midst. Let that be our message this Advent, this Christmas, this coming year.
“Father, embrace me in your love today, and blanket me in your peace. I give you my fear and anxiety, asking only that you hold my hand in yours.” ~WAU