A couple of my children delight in sneaking up from behind when I least expect it and startling me. I about jump out of my skin every time they do that.
So I appreciate the angel’s first words to those shepherds when he paid them a surprise visit so many years ago as they were watching their flocks outside of Bethlehem: Don’t be afraid.
He knew they’d likely be startled by his presence and sought to calm their spirits so they could listen to the important news he wanted to share:
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
As December steers us toward Christmas, I want to stay mindful of the reason for the season. Instead of getting caught up in the commercialism and materialism that have become so associated with the holidays in our country, I want to calm my spirit and focus my thoughts on the Babe in the manger, who would ultimately be the crucified Christ and risen Lord.
That’s why I chose this verse as the theme of this week’s coloring page. I hope it will help you remember what and why you’re celebrating, too.