In this passage, God isn't some far-off distant being orchestrating all of creation from afar. No; God is right there with us, suffering with us, holding us as we loosen our grip of “appearing ok,” and crying with us. This is compassion.
As it turns out, God knew he was up for it. God also knew that he was scared. And God told him to not be afraid. It might seem like God doesn’t know us at all. We get assignments that leave us shaking in our shoes, and the best God can do is say “do not be afraid”? And why don’t we get to be afraid?
The meaning of Christmas is easily lost in the glitter and hype that fill our days for weeks and months at this time of year. Much about the Christmas season is cozy and appealing. Much else about it is shallow and consumeristic. But what is the true meaning of Christmas?
There is more to me than my ebullient exterior. It's not that I am not truly joyful--I am! Internally, however, I am sometimes plagued with self-doubt. I expect a lot of myself, and I’m hard on myself when I don’t measure up to my own expectations.