What do you fear? Oswald Chambers has said, “When you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.” What is feared is revered. There has been a lot of noise across this year suggesting there is much to fear. It is up to dads to keep a healthy perspective on fear in this world and focus on the Way in faith.
In this second week of Advent, the candle lit represents the FAITH Christians have in the miracle birth of the Lord Jesus in Bethlehem. Born of the virgin Mary, the Savior came into the world. Mary did not understand how it would be possible but her response to Gabriel reflected a devout fear of and faith in God – “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). Mary feared God, nothing else.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what He has spoken to her!” – Luke 1:41-45. There were actually two miracle births within six months of each other. One was by ‘natural’ conception, yet Elizabeth had been baron and both she and her husband Zechariah were “well along in years.” When an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah and told him that his wife would bear him a son, his faith wavered. The angel struck him dumb until his son, John, was born. The second miracle birth was by immaculate conception. Mary’s faith and trust in the Lord God led her through the fear around being unmarried and pregnant in her day. Similarly, when a dad reflects his faith and trust in the Lord God, he leads his family through fear in this world. The charge is to live with fear of and faith in God only.
Tips to lead in fear and faith:
- Lead a family discussion time around fears faced this year with candid vulnerability;
- Read Exodus 20:1-6 as a family and discuss what God is addressing when He says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”;
- Read Luke 1:1 – 2:20 as a family and discuss how Mary and Joseph, and Elizabeth and Zechariah lived into their fear of and faith in God;
- Discuss how fear of God keeps fear of everything else in perspective.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for the miracle births – one that prepared the way for the Lord and One that established the Way to reconnect with You. I confess that I have allowed various fears in this world to dominate my thinking and even disconnect me from the true Reason for this season. Forgive me. I need to do a better job of keeping the fears of this world in perspective and focus on You. Help me reflect a revering fear of You and lead the Way in faith to You this CHRISTmas. Amen.
A faithful father leads the Way through fear and faith to CHRISTmas.