Monday, January 13, 2014

Do Not Be Afraid

by Christine Rector

I have the privilege of teaching preschool and kindergarten age children about God, His Son Jesus and His great love for us. I know many Bible stories backwards and forwards: Jonah and the Whale, David and Goliath, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Noah’s Ark, Creation just to name a few. These stories are the mainstay of Sunday school curriculum and very important in our faith journey. The Christmas Story is no different; I have heard, studied or taught this story for many years.

This past Advent and Christmas season I taught the children a different aspect of the Christmas story every week. The first week children heard the story of the angel’s visit to Mary, the next week the angel visiting Joseph in his dream and another week the angel’s midnight visit to the shepherds. The one thing that these stories have in common is what the angel told his audience, “Do not be afraid.”

On December 20, 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As I processed this information, many emotions flitted through me: shock, disbelief, anger, sadness, anxiousness, grief, humor, and fear. The morning after the diagnosis all I wanted to do was stay in bed, pull the covers over my head, and shut the world and cancer out. I was overcome with fear, and choked with fearful tears. God reminded me of what the angel had told Mary, Joseph and the shepherds, "Do not be afraid!” A sense of peace flooded through me- I was able to get out of bed and begin to face this challenge one moment, one day at a time.

Jesus tells us in the book of John that we are not to let our hearts be troubled or afraid, that He will give us the gift of peace through the Holy Spirit. He also promises that He will not leave us as orphans but will come to us through the Holy Spirit. Yes, we will have trouble and fearful moments but we are not to remain in those moments we are to allow the Holy Spirit to comfort us with His peace, to remind and encourage us through God's word.

Christine is the Children's Ministry Assistant at BUMC.  

1 comment:

  1. Christine, thank you for writing this. We, your church family, are here to be in the gap for you. You are in our prayers, Rik and Julia Olson