​December 5, 2016 - Scott Kinnaird

Luke 1:26-33 - Click to read full passage

Luke tells us that sometime near the summer solstice, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth to see Mary, the future mother of Jesus. He told her to not be afraid and he encouraged her with a prediction that she would give birth to a son whose influence on the world would never end.

 Embedded in Gabriel's pronouncement is the good news of immediate relief from suffering, which is available to all of us today; fearlessness and presence.

The Bible references fear hundreds of times, my favorite being 1 John, 4:18, which says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."  This verse reminds us that fear involves punishment, cannot co-exist with Love and that God is not only Love, but also the absence of fear.

Equally important was Gabriel's promise that Mary's son would "reign over a kingdom with no end," which is to say a domain transcending time. Like all of us, Mary was obsessed with time, afraid of what might happen in the future and remorseful about the past.

But, Jesus would encourage his friends and followers to cease obsessive thoughts about anticipated events or past mistakes. He spoke very plainly about forgiving sins and letting tomorrow worry about tomorrow. (Matthew 6:34)

 Gabriel foretold of a son of time present who would teach all of us by his example how to be mentally present for family, friends and strangers who need our love and help here and now in "the kingdom, which will have no end."

Fearlessness in the present moment, through Jesus the Christ. That is indeed the good news.

God, during this Advent season please remind us how your kingdom is literally at hand in this present moment, realized in the faces of family, friends and strangers. Help us replace fear with compassion, love and assistance for those we meet each day. Amen.

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