First Sunday of Advent
December 3, 2017
In the Face of Overwhelming Fear
By Rev. Shannon Sullivan, Associate Pastor
When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.”
I asked the preschoolers at the Weekday School if they were afraid of anything. They said no, but started to change their minds when I admitted that I am afraid of the dark. “Oh, yes, we are afraid of that too,” they told me, as though it was so obvious they didn’t think to mention it before. People are afraid of flying, spiders, and even clowns. But we also have deeper fears. Recently, I have heard stories from friends and family members about how they fear the end of their marriages. New diagnoses frighten us, as do changes in our financial situation. In the infertility support
People in Jesus’ day had the same fears. Maybe not of flying or loss of health care or gun violence, but they too feared violence and being alone. And into the middle of all that fear, messengers from God stepped in to say, “Do not be afraid.” Do not be afraid, God hears you, God is with you. Do not be afraid, God knows what you are going through--- in fact, in the incarnation, God experiences what you experience!
This Advent, may we cut through the overwhelming fear and