Pause

Between getting ready in the morning for the day and getting ready at night for sleep, we live our lives. Much of that time is spent preparing for the hours to come.

But even as we wait for what is going to happen, it is important to stop. To stop and simply be still.

Sometimes being still is the best preparation of all.

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Listen

But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:20-21

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Think

It is the most often repeated promise in Scripture: Be not afraid. That is good news to those of us who live in an increasingly dangerous world: school shootings, bullying, war, abuse, and _____ (you fill in the blank with what scares you the most).

Joseph possessed a good reputation and now his fiancée was pregnant, but not by his doing! He was going to divorce her quietly when an angel appeared in a dream to say “Don’t be afraid! This impossibility is the work of the Holy Spirit.” (That might make me more afraid!)

Joseph remained true to God’s plan. As preparations are made for the holidays, over what impossibility do you need to hear the promise of “Don’t be afraid?” Be of good courage, friends, for Christ is coming soon to erase our fear and fill us with courage.

Sarah Shelton

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Pray

Remove my fear, O God. I'm putting my trust in you. Amen.

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Go

Go now into the midst of busyness and hurry.
But carry with you these moments of still and quiet.

You are better prepared now than you were even moments ago
For the day that lies ahead.

And God has prepared good gifts in the midst of the hours
For you to know and cherish.

Sarah Shelton

Sarah Jackson Shelton is the pastor of Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham, Alabama. She is the proud mother of David (24) and Dannelly (19), and the lucky wife of Lloyd.

Glorious Messiah

Jim Morgan

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