Chinta Ne Garnos

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“Be Not Afraid”

Gabriel says it to Mary, and the angels proclaim it to the shepherds. God speaks it to us, so that we may speak it to one another. Throughout Scripture we hear the constant reminder, “Fear not; be not afraid.”

Which probably means at least two things. First, it shows us that God knows us. He knows that we are uncertain creatures – vulnerable, insecure, easily frightened, in need of constant reassurance. He knows that we are but dust. And it also means that He longs to offer us His peace.

In Jesus, Emmanuel, we see God becoming one of us – dependent, weak, poor, humbled. At Christmas we remember that God made Himself radically vulnerable for us. He became human in order to be with us – and to win us back.

He is the infant born in a feed trough, the child of an impoverished, refugee family. He is the homeless itinerant in an occupied nation, living and working at the frayed margins of his culture. He’s the victim of political injustice, an innocent willingly submitting to a farcical trial and condemned to an unjust death. Poinsettia (4)

He drew near, and we failed to recognize Him. He became killable, and we killed Him.

“From men, the works of His own hands, He suffered shame and scorn…” 

How I need to hear His words of reassurance this year – the promise that one day, all that is wrong with this world will finally be put right. And there is much that is wrong.

It’s been a year of witnessing the suffering and powerlessness that comes with poverty. A year of dying patients that antibiotics can’t heal and sick children brought in just a little too late; broken, mangled bodies that surgery can’t fix and families destroyed by cycles of abuse, alcoholism and suicide. It often feels like things will never change, that perhaps we are just wearing ourselves out shoveling sand against the ocean’s inexorable tide.

Yet I love how my friend Hannah put it so beautifully:

“The Christmas season is not one of pretty Christmas cards, soft snow, twinkling lights, safe journeys and happy babies, but a story of great darkness in the world and in our hearts, and one single light of hope.  It is the story that God suffers with us through perilous journeys, disappointment, shame, disgrace, and points us to a world where sorrow and injustice will be made right, and the liPoinsettia (2)ons that wage war in our hearts and souls and cause destruction in our bodies, in our relationships, and in our world will be tamed and lie down with the lamb.  The Christmas story is the story of hope for the healing doctor’s can’t do, of freedom the law can’t provide. And it is the offer to Hindus, Nepalis, and American ex-pats to come and find out what the hope of nations is all about.”

Chinta Ne Garnos; Be Not Afraid.

Oh, my dear friends  ~

May this season offer plenty of space in which to dwell in this hope, and especially on the One who came to seek His dwelling with us.

Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becamest poor.

Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest man.

Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.
Emmanuel, within us dwelling,
Make us what thou wouldst have us be.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.

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5 thoughts on “Chinta Ne Garnos

  1. Becca, How true it is, your definition about what Christmas is all about.  As Dr. Rogers reminded us yesterday about the suffering and persecution going on in most of the world, we are not guaranteed that it will not reach our shores.  Christ did come into a dark, suffering world to give us hope!  Thank you for what you are doing in Nepal.  It is a demonstration to many of us here of the love of Christ no matter how hard the circumstances. Your pictures of Nepal are beautiful.  Probably an incredible contrast to the sickness and brokenness you see everyday. Jim has started up a Bible Study with Tila and Ran again.  Ran’s sister – in -law is also coming along with a Burmese neighbor.  Ran’s boss gave him a turkey as a gift and they are clueless as to what to do with it, so we will be cooking turkey together the weekend after Christmas!  It should be fun.   Praying for you as you are away again this Christmas that the Lord would be especially close.  Your friends in Christ, Jim and Connie From: WhereGodCalls ~ Nepal To: Sent: Monday, December 22, 2014 4:21 AM Subject: [New post] Chinta Ne Garnos #yiv9188206107 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9188206107 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9188206107 a.yiv9188206107primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9188206107 a.yiv9188206107primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9188206107 a.yiv9188206107primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9188206107 a.yiv9188206107primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9188206107 | Rebecca McAteer posted: ““Be Not Afraid”Gabriel says it to Mary, and the angels proclaim it to the shepherds. God speaks it to us, so that we may speak it to one another. Throughout Scripture we hear the constant reminder, “Fear not; be not afraid.”Which probably means at” | |

  2. Rebecca, I read this post in Boston on the subway on my way to work this morning – what a great reminder it was! Thank you. Hope you have a merry Christmas!

  3. A:hover { COLOR: red } A { TEXT-DECORATION: none; COLOR: #0088cc } A.primaryactionlink:link { COLOR: #fff; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #2585b2 } A.primaryactionlink:visited { COLOR: #fff; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #2585b2 } A.primaryactionlink:hover { COLOR: #fff !important; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #11729e } A.primaryactionlink:active { COLOR: #fff !important; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #11729e }


    Dear Becca,

    Thank you for this beautiful and well thought through greeting. We pray that you will have a wonderful and fruitful New Year of 2015. The past year of 2014 was a pretty tough year for us and could have been a disaster, but God’s goodness and grace was more than abundant. Our Father is the very present unchanging God, and therefore we anticipate with joy this coming year. We pray His favor and grace rest you this coming year. Two of our favorite authors (we are reading their books right now) are Amy Carmichael and A. W. Tozier. We would like to leave you with two of their quotes for the coming year: Along with this two verses for 2015, and a poem by Gerhart Tersteegen.

    Isa. 14:31 RV. “There is no straggler in his ranks.”

    “There are no stragglers in the ranks of the enemy. There must not be any in ours. As the year draws to a close, let us the more earnestly see to it that none of us is a straggler in spirit, drawing back for the hardest things, shirking what it means to fight the good fight of faith. I suppose none of us is beyond the temptation to weaken, to “straggle”. It goes on to the end. But with us is the Lord of Hosts, and He has strength enough and to spare for the weakest and least soldierly of us all. So we need not “straggle” and by His grace we will begin the New Year “strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” (Eph. 6:10) Amy Carmichael (Edges of His Ways, pg.187)

    “Our insistence upon seeing ahead is natural enough, but it is a real hindrance to our spiritual progress. God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over the management of our lives the moment we turn in faith to Him.” A. W. Tozier (Knowledge of the Holy, Pg. 97)

    “I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name .” Isa 45:2-3

    “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”. Isa 42:16

    “Let Him lead thee blindfold onwards, Love needs not to know; Children whom the Father leadeth Ask not where they go. Though the path be all unknown Over moors and mountains lone.

    Give no ear to reason’s questions; Let the blind man hold That the sun is but a fable Men believed of old. At the breast the babe will grow; Whence the milk he need not know

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