“For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not evil. Plans for a hope and promise for the future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
The Angel appeared to Zechariah and said, “Fear Not.” In other words – “To you whose life feels planned and set, you whose faith allows you to worship God even though your deepest desire is unmet, Peace. Life is about to change. Peace unto you.”
That same introduction was made to Mary. “Fear Not,” the angel said, then proceeded to unveil a ridiculous plan for introducing God to the world, a dangerous plan that involved many risks and great trust. “Peace,” the angel said. To you who long for God to redeem the world – though his redemption rarely looks like we expect…Peace. Our Savior is creative. Peace unto you.
Now we read about the shepherds in the field. They have gathered the lambs from the rocks and rescued the sheep from predators. Without warning, an angel appears. Guess what he says? “Fear Not. To those on the outskirts of the birth of the King, Good News! Peace! Though your mundane lives seem not to have room for seeking the Lord, He has sought you out to tell you of His great love. Peace unto you!”
The peace we are offered reconciles our concept of working out the good news with God’s way. For Zechariah peace was to wait; for Mary, to risk; for the shepherds, to seek. Peace enables us to trust Jeremiah’s words.
Light the third Advent candle in thankfulness for the Peace given to us when our lives, like Zechariah’s, Mary’s and the shepherds’, are illuminated in the light of God’s love. Fear Not…there is good news. Peace unto you…our Savior is born.