This article was original written for Chelsey DeMatteis’ 2020 Advent Devotional. You can find her blog here.
This year has been led with fear and anxiety. I don’t think anyone needs a reminder of that, and we are all looking forward to a new year that is hopefully better than the last. But as this Christmas season reminds us, we don’t need to fear our present moment. We don’t need to fear the future or have anxiety about what is to come.
The line from Andrew Peterson’s Sower’s Song has almost been my mental “mission statement” of 2020: “Be led with peace and go out with joy.”
How do we not carry the fear and anxiety that has been grabbing hold of our ankles the entire year into the Christmas season?
Isaiah 55:12-13 says:
“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the LORD,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Even amongst thorns and briers, the earth still sings praises to the Lord and claps its hands in worship. So even we should still sing praises and worship to our God amidst our thorns and briers.
God promises that his name will never be cut off. Instead of thorns, peace will come forth. Instead of briars, God’s promises will triumph. In place of the thorns in our life, God promises to redeem us. In place of the briars in our life, God promises us peace and joy and an everlasting covenant with him.
Our praise joins with creation in making a name for our God, that is an everlasting sign that will not be cut off.
Proclaim that his name will never be cut off by being led with peace and going out with joy.
We can leave behind the fear and anxiety, in this Christmas season and throughout the year, when we remember that our praise, our joy, and our peace proclaim the promise that Jesus will prevail over evil. Our worship is physical evidence of our heart’s belief in his promises.
Adopt this mission statement with me for the 2020 Christmas season, and even after:
Be led with peace and go out with joy.