Today, I was thinking about fear. I guess since 9/11, here in America, we’ve been afraid. And we’ve had a lot to be afraid of. Terrorism. The economy. Politics. Cultural shifts. Those of us that are Christians have seen so many things shift and change.
Many of us have lost jobs. Many of us have had loved ones deploy in service to their country. Many of us ourselves have fought in wars that none of us could have forecast.
These things have left us shaken. Have left us worries. We’ve lost a sense of control. Our heads are spinning.
And we are afraid. With our information culture going fast and faster, disaster happens across the world, and we know it now. Social media allows to see (and share) everything.
So many things.
And we feel so afraid.
As I was thinking about this, I thought of the words to the Angels to so many people in the story of the birth of Christ. Listen today to what the angels told us in scripture
In Luke 1: 13 to Zechariah
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard.
In Luke 1:30 to Mary
30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God
In Matthew 1: 20 to Joseph:
20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
And to the Shepherds in Luke 2: 20
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
Over and over again, we are told, do not be afraid. But here this. Jesus was not born into a time of peace. There was war. There was fighting. There was death. Jesus was not born into a fairy tale. He was born into a time of violoence.
And over and over again, they were told, do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. God has a plan. God is work. God is bringing something new. Something good.
Do not be afraid.
So, yes, today, many of us may be afraid, over real things. Scary things. Things that worry us. Things that cause us great fear.
But hear the words the angels today. Do not be afraid. God is with us. Emmanuel.
That doesn’t mean it’s all good. Or all easy. Or all even safe. But God is with us. God has a plan bigger than any us. Do not be afraid.
Don’t be afraid. Don’t be angry. Don’t be worried. Believe. Have faith. Trust. God is with us.
As the people of the risen King, do not be afraid. He has overcome. Do not be afraid.