March 26, 2020

Peace Over Fear

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 26, 2020

He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. John 1:11-12

There are countless ways of speaking of our life with God. A journey of faith. A pursuit of the Lord. Intentional discipleship. We could go on and on. And while these phrases highlight the importance of tending to our life with God and seeking after him with purpose and passion, we must never forget that our pursuit of God is based upon his pursuit of us. In fact, as John 1 reminds us, we his own people, failed to accept him, failed to tend to this relationship as we are meant to do. Yet even in our fear and weakness, God gave and gives himself to us as a gift; a gift of power and identity that is meant to be received with gratitude and joy.

This week, as we are nine months away from Christmas, Christians around the world remember the story of the Annunciation, the moment in which the angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that she would bear a son, a son who “Will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). When read together with the words from John’s Gospel, these stories tell us something profound: God’s promise of power reaches us in our frailty and fear.

Interestingly, rather than January 1st, for 600 years in medieval Europe the Annunciation was treated as “New Year’s Day,” marking a new year, a new season, the start of a new story. What a powerful statement of truth! When the light of Christ shines into the darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6), God breaks into our place of greatest need and speaks life, hope, and peace. 

We desperately need to be reminded of this peace. In ways that many who are living today have never experienced, we face a moment of global uncertainty and insecurity, one that heightens fears of scarcity and personal loss. It raises questions of economic stability, political unrest, and institutional failure. And while the specifics may be unique to our time, the underlying fears are not. As such, are we able to hear in our own day Gabriel’s words to Mary as words spoken to us? “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30).

God’s favor finds us in our fear. His power reaches us in our weakness. And no matter how dark the night may be, a new day is always dawning.

Prayer

Father, thank you for the incredible gift of peace and hope, given through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Application

How can you today, like Mary, receive and ponder with gratitude the gift of God given to you?


Related Reading

2 Corinthians 9:15; Ephesians 4:8; James 1:17


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