“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people…” — Luke 2:10 NRSV
When the first snow falls, I am always amazed at the reaction from those of us who live in this part of the country. I mean, you would think we have forgotten everything we’ve learned about driving on the ice and snow. Spinouts, fender benders, and accidents happen at an alarming rate during the first storm of the season.
The State Highway Patrol and snowplow drivers all say the same thing — “Everyone needs to slow down and pay attention.” It’s almost like we have to go through a snowstorm every year to remember what it was like so that we can settle down and drive safely the rest of the winter.
Yes, learning how to drive under adverse conditions is part of life here in the northland. Truth be told, we always will be learning how to deal with adversity. In these current days, we’ve been dealing with so many challenges that it might seem as though we’re in danger of skidding out and crashing and bumping into obstacles along the way.
We’ve experienced financial hardships, national tragedies and nature’s calamities. Honestly, it sometimes seems like our world is spinning out of control on the slippery slope of uncertainty.
It’s really one of the reasons why we need Christmas — or more to the point, we have never needed the celebration of the Jesus Christ’s birth more than we do right now. These are times when a hurting world needs to be comforted in knowing that life wasn’t designed to be this way. That God has a positive word to speak about how life will turn out in the end.
Everyone can use a little good news today. It’s why we believe Jesus came to that little town of Bethlehem. He came to show how much God cares for people. He arrived to give direction to a world that needed a compass. He came to demonstrate that while there are challenges, we need not live in fear. God cares. We will get through them. God loves us, period.
If we can embrace the truth found in those words, then perhaps we can navigate with confidence through the slippery storms of life.
The Rev. Dr. Daren Flinck is pastor of St. Croix Valley United Methodist Church, 16600 Seventh St. South in Lakeland. He can be reached at 651-436-8691.