Christmas joy without fear

When the shepherds in the field heard the good tidings of Christ’s birth, they perceived two calls: they were to have great joy and no fear! The birth of the Son of God was to bring joy to all people and make the fear of the individual recede into the background. Do we hear this too?

“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” These are the well-known words from Luke 2: 10–11. Who does not know them? On Christmas, Christians around the world remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Depending on where they live, they celebrate Christmas in the middle of winter or in the middle of summer. Some have an abundance, others are destitute. However, the joy of Christmas is the same for all because it is based on the common belief: God is love, He sent His Son upon the earth to save mankind.

Remembering what is most important

However, it is not so easy to forget fear. Let us just take the past year that is coming to an end: it will undoubtedly stick in the collective memory of humanity as the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of deaths, many sad individual fates, many empty places are to be deplored. That can certainly make one anxious, but the angel’s message on Christmas is not limited to everyday life: the good tidings of great joy are a different kind of joy because it allows the fear of the soul to be removed. Frightening events should not make us forget what is most important: Christ wants to save us humans, to redeem us. All the difficulties, however painful and persistent they may be, are insignificant in view of the marvellous inheritance that God has prepared for us.

Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider, the international leader of the New Apostolic Church, puts it this way: “What God gives us is always greater than what He withholds from us.”

The return of Christ is not a dream

What the Chief Apostle and the Apostles of the New Apostolic Church proclaim in their sermons over and over is the message of God’s incarnation, which is coupled to the joyful hope for a better future. The birth of Jesus is neither an invention of devout Jews nor is His return a dream of devout Christians. The message not only sounds good but is the agenda of the believing Christian. Those who trust in Jesus Christ, who believe in Him and follow Him, will be redeemed. Faith in the return of Christ gives strength, fortifies in difficult situations, encourages, and keeps the Lord’s church united in one spirit, one purpose, and one hope.

Please pass the message on

“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marvelled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”

The editors of wish you a joyous and blessed Christmas. Stay safe!

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Peter Johanning
Christmas, International