Fear Not - Sunday, December 21, 2014
During this joyful season, we reflect upon the greatest story ever told. It is not a long story, comprising only a chapter or two of scriptures, but it is so rich with meaning that with each reading we can find a new pearl of truth, a new insight that endears the story to us even more.
One of these precious (but less obvious) themes of the Christmas story is found in the words the angel spoke to young Mary: “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God” (Luke 1:30). Later, we are told that Joseph the carpenter received similar direction when an angel appeared to him in a dream and said, “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife” (Matthew 1:20). And then shortly thereafter, on that holy night of the first Christmas, the angel proclaimed to the shepherds, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10).
Time and again, as the story unfolds, the words fear not come as manna from heaven to humble souls hungering for comfort, confidence, guidance, and peace. What sweet and profound reassurance that must have been! What meaningful and empowering counsel it still is!
Those words, fear not, are needed today as much as ever. When faced with what seems arduous or impossible, fear not. When confronted with discouragement or difficulty, fear not. When challenged by doubt or disbelief, anger or antagonism, fear not.
That may be easier said than done. No question, we live in a fearful world, but the wonderful, true story of Christmas gives ample cause to “fear not.” It stands as a gentle reminder that the heavens are still open, that the Light of the World still shines, and that God’s greatest gift of love—sent to earth so long ago—still prevails. This season, with its bright lights and joyful hearts, is an annual affirmation of that love. The message and meaning of Christmas is joy and hope to the world, good tidings and goodwill toward all people—all of which can come into our lives if we choose faith and fear not.