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Christmas Courage

Three verses in the Christmas story are ringing bells for me today.

Matthew 1:20 But as he was thinking this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife…


Luke 1:13  But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zachariah, because your petition was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you must call his name John. 


Luke 1:30  And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace (free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving kindness) with God.” 


I love how the very first to-do on the angel’s list is actually a to-don’t.

Don’t be afraid.

Sometimes, God will ask us to do things that make a lot of sense.  But not always.  Sometimes, He shows up and asks us to do things that are so contrary to status quo that we’ll need a big boatload of courage just to face the next step.

  • Courage to marry someone who has been called to something so big that your own identity will forever pale in comparison.
  • Courage to reject convention and give your son his own name, understanding he is marked by God for a divine and difficult destiny.
  • And courage to be misunderstood in every way in order to help bring life to a dying world.


I love these players because of their character and because of their courage.  And I love our Father because He understands our fear, but still doesn’t downsize His plans for us.  He knows our world is scary, but instead of keeping us always in safe places, He promises to go with us into dangerous adventure.   This part of His nature – this swashbuckling discontent with ordinary living and neatly-paved pathways – is seen in almost every story in the bible.    I would sure love for it to be seen in my life too.

Becoming brave,


December 7, 2011 - 2:54 pm

The Other Tori - Dearest Bo- I love this. June already knows: if the glowing entity in your room doesn’t start his message with “Do not be afraid…” it’s probably not an angel. God’s messages always start that way. So- Bo- and everyone- do not be afraid. 🙂

December 8, 2011 - 6:10 am

stacy - Good news. Good words. thank you.

December 8, 2011 - 6:11 am

Jane Williams - If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a noise?

These “Much Afraids” life stories are our lifelines to courage; God knew their stories of His interventions needed to be written down… for us ( whose Angel Glasses, are a bit defective most the time.)

Your stories, Bo, are our lifelines to courage: not always feeling brave, but bravely feeling… (and showing whose hand to squeeze through the darkness.)

December 8, 2011 - 6:37 am

bo - Haha! I love that June is growing such a sturdy theology so soon in life! Good job, mom!

December 8, 2011 - 6:38 am

bo - Thank you, Stacy, for stopping by.

December 8, 2011 - 6:38 am

bo - Oh dear Jane, I continue to love what you write about what I write more than what I actually write. 😉 Bless you, friend.

December 9, 2011 - 9:19 am

Aimee - Bo, why do you think it is that fear was the first reaction sensed by these angels? I know scary things going on at that time in history- with Pharaoh’s oppression. When did fear become the “natural” first reaction of those chosen to do courageous things?

December 15, 2011 - 11:26 pm

Dede Miller - “I love our Father because He understands our fear, but still doesn’t downsize His plans for us. He knows our world is scary, but instead of keeping us always in safe places, He promises to go with us into dangerous adventure.” Oh how those words have spoken to my heart today! Thank you.

December 16, 2011 - 8:59 am

bo - That’s a great question, Aimee, and the only answer I really have is that we are small and the world is really big. When confronted with the opportunity to do a larger-than-our-world thing, it causes our insides to turn to a mush of “how will I ever be big enough or smart enough for that?” I think, though, that it also creates a fantastic rush of excitement, knowing that BIG is what we were born for. It’s our choice which of those emotions rule the day. For me, courage usually wins – but only by a nose. I’m usually scared the whole time….but really glad in the end that I said yes.

December 16, 2011 - 9:01 am

bo - Also, dear Aimee, I think that some people are by nature very courageous and unsatisfied with small plans and safe dreams. You are a part of that rare breed and it’s a beautiful thing. 🙂