Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. Luke 1: 72-75 NRSV
God has mercy (later identified as tender mercy) so that we can serve God without fear but in wholeness and in right relationship to God. With the birth of John the baptizer, our relationship with God gets turned around and changed completely. Instead of serving the One whom we fear, we serve the one whom we are in right relationship with. Being holy rather than being fearful becomes our motivation.
I really want to bask in this kind of motivation! God seems to be saying that God wants our hearts to be in the right place rather than to be feared. If we work on our healthy relationship with God, we won't need fear to serve God. In fact, our service becomes an act of righteousness rather than an act of fear of punishment. Somehow, I feel I am barely scratching the surface of this idea and the change that the New Testament brings in our overall relationship with God. But it is all good!
God, you want us to be in a whole and right relationship with You. You prefer this over our fear. May we spend our energy turning our hearts and minds over to You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims