Fear of actual or perceived consequences, is an integral part of most everyone's life. It can be a motivating factor or a debilitating one.
Sometimes the doom and gloom of our world and culture can cause us to fear the future.
Historically, when something good is about to happen, the first human response is often fear.
I suppose that's why nearly every book in the Bible has at least one verse that reads "fear not". Or "Don't be afraid."
In Genesis 15:1 it says, "The Lord came to Abram and said 'Fear not, Abram', I am your shield and your great reward."
And in Revelation 1:17, "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet dead. And he laid his right hand on me and said, "Fear not, I am the first and the last."
The birth of Christ created many different story lines--an angry and jealous Herod, rumors about Mary's fidelity, mocking remarks toward Joseph, concerned religious leaders and yes, fear---especially among the shepherds out in the fields. They anticipated his birth, yet were afraid when the miracle began.
That's why the first words from the angel were "Do not be afraid, I bring you good news."
I believe God would send the same message to us today.
The good news?
"There is a son born to you today in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord."
May the spirit of joy and peace and redemption fill your heart as you join over 2 billion Christians around the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ---God with us.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.