The "Fear Not"  Good News

Several people in our congregation have personally told me of being publicly insulted in our neighborhood because of the color of their skin.  That does not surprise me.  Who says we are different than how the rest of our world behaves?  As someone said in a Sunday morning Bible study, “We live in an unhinged world.” 

 

These are uncertain and disquieting times.  We live in a world where it is hard for people to get along.  We have the same issues as youth being bullied in school – unfortunately some adults in our society specialize in such behavior.   Whether the issues are migrations to these shores, or affirmation of civil/citizenship rights of people – it seems democracy is learned all over again by each generation.

 

If some people want to embark on campaigns of demonizing, demagoguery and hate against their neighbors – you and I cannot stop them.  But we cannot allow their vision of darkness have the last word.  The final word belongs to God.  

 

If some people want to embark on campaigns of demonizing, demagoguery and hate against their neighbors – you and I cannot stop them.  But we cannot allow their vision of darkness have the last word.  The final word belongs to God.

 

Despite that we are a people of the Good News.  The light of God’s love shines in the darkness.   We affirm the presence of God with us in life and death, in hope and despair, in peace and war.  We walk the way in the light of forgiveness, mercy and justice.

 

Remember in the order of God’s creation, God created human beings last.  God gave us freedom and responsibility lined with choices to care for the earth and build communities of people.  Some human beings do crazy acts of violence toward humans, not God.

 

Forgiveness still holds.  Caring remains strong.  Love is constant.   Justice always needs an airing.  Good neighbors shape lives of worth for common good.

 

“Do not be afraid; for see l am bringing you good news of a great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David A Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”  St. Luke 2: 10-11

 

-Dan Schmiechen    

 

                               

 

 

 

 Dan Schmiechen is a retired minister and member of Linden Hills United Church of Christ.


Let the Scriptures Speak

Buy An Understandable Bible Translation: Speak to Pastors Eliot and Lawrence for recommendations.

 

Church Year: Advent, four Sundays before Christmas means “coming” and “arrival.”  The focus is celebrating the birth of Jesus so that all people can be reconciled and live together.  The color is purple, a sign of royalty.  One candle is lit each week until four flames announce Jesus’ birth.

 

Daily Scripture Reading: *Choose time of day  *Choose a quiet place  *Light a candle (symbol of God’s presence)  *Begin with a prayer (Open my heart to your Word, O God.”   *Close with a prayer (May your presence be with me today.”

 

In Conversation with Scripture:  The Bible is filled with a variety of writings.  A few examples – poetry (Psalms); history (Joshua and judges); prophets (Joel, Isaiah, Micah); Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John); the early Christian Church (Paul’s Letters) and end times (Revelation).  It is helpful to know what type of writings you are reading.  Again, check background information in your Bible.  

 

Spiritual Practice:  *When you read scripture, what word/thought comes to your attention)?  *What do these words say to you?  *What do you hear God saying to you?

 

Bible Readings For The Week: :  Fourth Sunday Advent: Sunday, December 18 John 3:16-21  Monday, December 19 John 5:30-47 Tuesday December 20 Luke 1:5-25 Wednesday December 21 Luke 1:26-38  Thursday December 22 Luke 1: 39-56  Friday December 23 Luke 1: 57-66  Saturday December 24 Luke 1:67-80  

 

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