27 December 2013

Christmas 2013

Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him.

~Luke 1.12 ~
Zacharias had two responses when he recognized he was in the presence of a heavenly being - he was both troubled and afraid. According to Strong’s, troubled is the Greek word tarássō. Properly, tarássō means put into motion, agitated back-and-forth, and/or shaken to-and-fro;  figuratively it connotes a setting into motion that which needs to remain still or at ease. It can also refer to motion causing inner perplexity or emotional agitation from getting too stirred up inside. Phóbos is the Greek word meaning withdrawal, fleeing because of a feeling of inadequacy or being without sufficient resources. According to commentators, it is a word  commonly used in Scripture – sometimes positively, as in man’s response to God’s presence, but more often with a negative significance, i.e. withdrawing from the Lord and His will.
Later when the angel appeared to Mary, her response was troubled – but there was no mention of fear. That observation has led to several thoughts about the difference between Zacharias’ and Mary’s reactions to God’s unmistakable presence in their lives...

To read the rest of our Christmas prayer letter, 


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