Do Not Be Afraid

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Several decades ago, Ray and I enjoyed participating in a progressive dinner. I would love to be part of one of those again. On Friday we enjoyed progressive visits from four grandchildren, each of whom stayed for an hour or hour and a half. It is always fun to have one on one time. I had two high priorities on Friday. I wanted to spend time with grandchildren, and I wanted to get farther along with my Christmas decorating. Combining them turned out to be delightful.

These grandchildren love to help me decorate and had already come over together to decorate our main tree. They are anxious for me to get all the decorations out, just as I am. It has warmed their Little’s heart hearing them ask, “Where is the [singing and dancing] Christmas tree?” and “When are you going to put up the village?” I had been pretty discouraged about how far behind I was with my decorating. However, at the end of the afternoon, I was elated at our progress.

The first to arrive was our six-year-old grandson. He helped decorate the skinny tree in the library, including the pictures of his family and his aunts, uncles, and cousins. His 11-year-old sister came next. We decorated the gold tree in Ray’s office, and she made a pretty display of angels beside it. Their nine-year-old brother came next. We decorated the blue and white tree in the dining room. It’s always fascinating to hear what he has to tell me.

Their four-year-old little brother was our last visitor. He helped put wooden ornaments on the two small trees now standing on either side of our long row of Christmas stockings. Mostly he played with the singing and dancing Christmas tree and the dancing, saxaphone playing Rudolph with its light-up nose. He loved turning them both on at the same time, producing a loud medley of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. The little guy was delighted to learn that if you put Rudolph on the coffee table and turn him on, his bouncing movements will slowly inch him to the edge. Often, when he falls off, he turns a flip. Imagine that! Funny what a four-year-old can teach you!

This year I’ve added a $3.99 thrift store Santa who wears suspenders and sways from side to side to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock.” We enjoy dancing along with him. I keep adding to our silly, music-playing, dancing Christmas toys for two reasons. Our grandchildren love them, and they give me sweet memories of my Daddy. If he were alive, I would be buying doubles–one for the grandchildren and one for Daddy.

Our easy devotional idea for today also reminds me of Daddy because we are to add a shepherd’s staff cut from brown paper. Ray and I are adding a real walking cane from my Daddy’s collection. I often find canes all over the house when several grandchildren are here at once. I used to play with this one myself when I was a teenager. I pretended to do cane dances like the ones I saw on TV.

One verse stands out to me from the reading for today. It begins: “Do not be afraid . . .” I’ve met many homeschooling mamas who were afraid. I’ve been one myself. As we remember Jesus’ birth and all of the events surrounding it, let’s hold on tightly to the angel’s message to the shepherds and all it means for our daily lives, our futures, and the daily lives and futures of our children.

Read: Luke 2:8-20

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Discuss: Why do you think God chose to announce the birth of Jesus to these shepherds?

Pray, praising God for all you have heard and seen. (Luke 2:20)

Add to the basket: a shepherd’s crook, cut from brown paper.

Remember, Mamas. Do not be afraid. Believe the good news. It makes all the difference for every single issue and every single day.

But the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I bring you good news of great joy
which will be for all the people;
for today in the city of David
there has been born for you a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:10-11

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  

Optional Song: If you would like to add a song to today’s devotion, you might enjoy singing “The First Noel.”

The first Noel the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay,
in fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
born is the King of Israel.

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