December 10, 2015

Keep Calm

Matthew 24:4-14

“Be careful, keep calm, and don’t be afraid.”

—  Isaiah 7:4

My son came home from a school trip with a souvenir tea canister printed with the Union Jack and bearing the words, “Keep calm and carry on.” I’d never seen that slogan before, but suddenly those words were everywhere. The slogan was originally printed on posters in the days before World War II as part of a campaign to reassure British citizens. The posters were never used, however, and the phrase was forgotten until a copy was found in a second-hand bookstore 55 years later.

Jesus gave similar words to his disciples. He saw a time of anxiety coming when false saviors would deceive many. He cautioned his followers, “See to it that you are not alarmed.” Keep calm. Though times will be hard, Jesus promised, “The one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Carry on.

The stakes may not seem as high in our corner of the world, but these days are also filled with turmoil and false promises. News reports remind us of terror attacks around the world. Ads promise happiness and comfort in this gift or that toy, and every special on TV claims to offer the “real meaning” of Christmas. Too often that “real meaning” doesn’t include Jesus. In days like these we are called to keep calm, trust that God is with us, and carry on living as Jesus has taught us to live.

O God, our Rock and Refuge, help us to put our confidence on your sure foundation. Assure us that we will never be shaken when we rest in your salvation through Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Norman Visser

Norman Visser has served as a pastor of churches in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and South Dakota. He states that while he is “not known for waiting patiently,” he is “working on it.” Norman and his wife, Marcia, have three children.

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