As I listen to the familiar Christmas story this year, two words stand out like never before. Fear Not. Before Zechariah hears, “Your prayer is answered,” before Mary hears, “You have found favor with God,” before Joseph hears, “You shall call His Name Jesus,” and before the Shepherds hear, “Good News of Great Joy!”, they first are visited by angels and encouraged to “Fear Not!”
An angel must be an awesome sight. And the message they brought certainly rocked the world of all involved–a baby changes everything. But everything about the Christmas story should evoke some level of awe or fear: God incarnate. God putting on flesh and invading time and space. God entering a virgin’s womb to begin His earthly life as human–just as we do…two cells, then an embryo, then a fetus, and then a baby. This alone should shake-up our souls. Yet we are told to Fear Not.
At Women’s Choice Network where I work, our clients understand fear. Before we share the good news (sometimes perceived as bad news) that, “Your pregnancy test is positive,” we must first remind them to Fear Not. There is a way, there is help, there is a comfort. His Name Is Jesus.
Tom and I may face many fears in 2015. Our list probably looks much like yours: Financial cliffs, ISIS, Ebola, random violence, Middle East instability, depression, failure, etc. But before God reveals His plan, the Prince of Peace first says, “Fear Not.” We who know Jesus can understand this peace. We know that it’s all really true. We know how the story ends. There is Resurrection, there is victory. The baby is born to become our Savior, our Suffering Servant, our Salvation. Love conquers fear and death! Good News indeed!