The Fourth Sunday in Advent, Year B
20 December 2020
Do not be afraid
The Collect: Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by Your daily visitation, that Your Son, Jesus Christ, at His coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.Amen.
Reflection: This year is almost gone and on reflection, there is a surreal feeling about what humanity has had to endure in 2020, a year like no other. So many of us have been at the point of disbelief many times, this year as we are unable to comprehend and believe all that has happened and continues to happen to us and to the world in which we live. “What’s next Lord?” we ask.
We struggle with the many times, this year, when our lives and our reality seem like fiction. Where do we find comfort and God’s presence in these moments? Many of us are still in a state of perplexity despite our prayers and supplications to the God whose incarnation we celebrate at this time.
In Mary’s encounter with the angel, we see how God met Mary where she was. The moment when the angel Gabriel met Mary must have been very odd and uncomfortable for her. In real and practical terms, it was impossible for the young, innocent Mary to get out of the situation in which she found herself. God interrupts this reality and reveals Godself in an extraordinary way and Mary becomes the recipient of God’s grace, as the angel reassures her, “Do not be afraid, Mary: you have found favour with God.” (Luke 1: 30 – 31)
“Do not be afraid” is a symbol of that everlasting love of God for one of the most wonderful parts of God’s creation, humanity. “Do not be afraid” is very comforting as this command is God’s assurance that He is in control, and He will be with us and provide us with the resources that we need to weather any storm. God’s love for humanity is unconditional and eternal.
“Do not be afraid” when repeated in our time of great bewilderment, helps us to realize that God is always with us, despite how difficult and surreal the circumstances surrounding us may be. His powerful presence is all we need.
Meditation: In moments of despair; “do not be afraid” is your password to God’s love.
Prayer: God of surprising beginnings, help us to not be dismayed by the brokenness within us. Help us to see your amazing grace revealed in Your creation and be appreciative recipients of Your unconditional love, in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.