BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
Do not fear!
By Dave Frodsham, lead elder, Jubilee Church Wirral
As I sit down to write this, I am starting to panic a little as December seems to be disappearing very quickly.
It feels like it’s the shortest month of the year! Now before you start to shout at your computers/ phones, I know it isn’t but it feels like everything important has to be done by the deadline of the 25th December.
It is a deadline everyone is working to and so everything takes longer, too. In all our busyness it is important we don’t lose our focus on why we celebrate Christmas. With the recent news of the new Covid-19 variant multiplying fast, I am sure some of you are a little more anxious about was is happening in the world again but I want to encourage you not to worry but to trust God all the more.
It all suddenly goes wrong for Joseph on that first Christmas. He is engaged to be married to Mary and is trying to get everything ready. He was just a carpenter and he didn’t have much and now suddenly he finds the girl he loves is pregnant. It’s not his as they haven’t been together and she tells him it’s not someone else’s either, but that the baby is from the Holy Spirit. This baby will be God’s Son. Can you imagine how he might have felt? Completely let down, betrayed and lied to. The Bible tells us that he considers what to do; not wanting to shame Mary, he thinks he’ll divorce her quietly as the engagement couldn’t just be broken. An angel appears to him in a dream and says:
“Joseph son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived within her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)
I was surprised that fear would be the emotion that God needs to warn against, but fear is the opposite of faith and fear leads to lots of other emotions and consequences. One of the consequences of fear used by Satan is that it undermines our confidence in God and distracts us from our relationship with Him.
In difficult times we are tempted to live in fear, fear of what might happen, fear of the unknown, fear of loss but Jesus later in his life says “Have faith in God!” (Mark 11:22) When you pray about things you are worried about believing that God will answer your prayer. Perhaps Joseph was praying to God as he wondered what to do and God answered him. God didn’t take the problem away but spoke to Joseph, giving him an insight into the bigger picture.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
Joseph has now heard for himself that what Mary has told him is true, but there is more for him to learn. He also hears why this child will be born: “for he will save his people from their sins” . This wasn’t just an ordinary child but this was the promised Messiah, who has come to save his people. Joseph was worried that people might think he had sinned, but God was acting to save everyone from their sin. God sent the Saviour because we needed Him, not so we could look right with God but so that we would be right with God.
So, remember this Christmas when you are worried what someone might think or you are anxious or fearful, that God broke into the world as a baby to save you from fear, sin, shame and ultimately death.
I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a very blessed 2022.
Dave Frodsham, Jubilee Church Wirral
In the month of remembrance, Chris on remembering what Jesus sacrificed for us and how we need to act on it.
Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?