December 18th – Don’t Be Scared


In this Advent season, I came across a little article, so simple, and so helpful that I thought the author would not mind me taking the bones out of it and serving it to you. “Don’t be afraid of Christmas” is it’s heading. Afraid of it? Yes, because it’s a time full of stress and anxiety. Christmas can be a frightening time for, along with summer holidays, it’s the highest peak period for family breakdown! It’s so expensive, so demanding, so frantically busy, and for millions, so lonely and so searching. Well, there are five places in Luke’s Gospel where God tells people “Don’t be afraid”, and that even includes Christmas.
The first is about ageing childlessness, in Luke Chapter 1 v. 13, when the father of John the Baptist is told not to be afraid about being old and childless. That fear can also arise when our children have grown up and gone, or have never arrived.In this first case, the biological clocks had all but stopped. But the old couple trusted God and were blessed with a child of history called John the Baptist. Do not be afraid – dare to believe that God who is aware of our needs does know exactly how we feel.
The second place God tells Mary not to be afraid, even though she was informed that she was to have a baby and that no other human being would understand this pregnancy. when God gives a gift, do not be afraid, even when folk through all the world misunderstand, wag their gossiping tongues and scorn any explanation. Be not afraid, she who was mocked was the mother of Jesus. When God calls you to any task he equips you to do it. Sometimes it’s to be unafraid in the face of ugly innuendo.
The third “Be not afraid” goes to the heart of the Christmas story. Luke Chapter 2 v. 10, probably the most quoted part of all the Christmas story. This was spoken to shepherds, the ordinary working men, rough and ready, and probably not all that religious. Yet, it was they who had revealed to them the staggering revelation by an angelic messenger and heavenly choirs. If that happened to us today, we would probably be petrified, and doubt our sanity. “Do not be afraid”- “Fear not said he, for mighty dread had seized their troubled minds”. Their fear turned to joy when they acted on it and actually went to Bethlehem to see for themselves, thus turning an awesome experience into daily currency. Don’t be afraid when God comes to you: he is people friendly! Be awake, be obedient, and enter his joyful news. Yes, I know there are two more “Be not afraids”. We’ll keep them until tomorrow. For now, this is from Luke Chapters 1 v. 29 – 30:
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God.
A Prayer: Thank you Lord, that in fearing you, we have nothing else to fear.

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