In high school biology we learned there are two responses to a perceived threat: fight or flight. Historically, when some Christians have perceived the world around them as dangerous or evil, they have chosen one of those two options. Sometimes the choice is flight: withdrawing into their own communities and no longer engaging with the “dangerous” world. Other times, the choice is fight: reject the “evils” of the culture but seek to change it through person to person influence or putting influential people in positions of power. We can think of many examples, modern and ancient, of these two options, and neither is particularly healthy.
The Gospel offers us a third option. Over and over in Scripture, the message offered by God to his people is “Do not be afraid.” To be sure, the command not to be afraid is not a head in the sand mentality. Our peace comes through the promise that in Jesus Christ, God is with us. It is the love that God has shown us through the Incarnation of his Son which keeps us from despair. As John says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. . . and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18)
This Sunday in worship, we will sing the song Love Has Come. Here is the last stanza: a strong message of love and peace we carry with us during this season of Advent.
Love has come and never will leave us!
Love is life everlasting and free.
Love is Jesus within and among us;
Love is the peace our hearts are seeking.
Love! Love! Love is the gift of Christmas;
Love! Love! Praise to you, God on high!
Join us Sunday to grow in love.