Advent 2023 – Fear Not

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And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Luke 2:10 (King James Version)

As the calendar turns to the final month of 2023, many people are increasingly afraid and fearful. Whether it’s looking back at what’s happened in the year that’s drawing to a close, coping with events that are still taking place in our own lives, families, nation and around the world, or looking ahead to what might happen in the coming year, fear is a growing and increasingly present emotion. I don’t need to list the reasons or causes of fear because the personal ones are unique to each of us, and the larger ones get plenty of attention.

For those of us who are followers of Christ and who trust in God, we are people who believe that faith is more powerful than fear.

We recognize that there is no courage without fear.

As we follow and seek to become more like Jesus we’re called to walk in the same way that Jesus did, choosing responses that are grounded in our relationship with God.

This is what the Apostle Paul was trying to do in writing to his younger and somewhat wavering colleague in ministry Timothy. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV),

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

We want this truth to guide us in all the seasons and situations we face in life.

In worship throughout the month of December, we’ll be celebrating the season of Advent, remembering Jesus’ birth and Christ’s promise to return.

Leading up to and including worship on Christmas Eve we’ll be focusing on how the Christian virtues of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love overcome and conquer fear. In many ways the core message of the Christmas season is given by the angel who says to the shepherds, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

What would it look like and feel like to have a life shaped, influenced, and guided by hope, peace, joy, and love rather than fear?

I hope you’ll join us as we journey through Advent on our way to Bethlehem learning about these precious gifts the Lord offers to us all. Praying you will have a blessed Advent and Christmas filled with comfort and joy.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Doug Scalise

Worship in December
Advent Series: Fear Not
Dec. 3 – Hope Over Fear Mark 13:24-37
Dec. 10 – Peace Over Fear, Isaiah 40:1-11
Dec. 17 – Joy Over Fear, John 1:6-8, 19-28
Dec. 24 – Love Over Fear Luke 1:26-38 NOTE: One morning service at 10:00 am
Christmas Eve Services – Fear Not Luke 2:1-20
4:00 Contemporary, 6:00 Traditional, 11:00 pm (Communion in the Chapel)
Dec. 31 – Testimonies to God’s Faithfulness through the year

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