And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her,
Fear not, Mary:
for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not
to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them,
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
What are you afraid of? In this world, there are so many things we’re afraid of. Wars, and rumors of wars. Terrorist attacks and school shootings. One economic crisis after another, with job layoffs, companies closing, people losing pension and
insurance benefits they’ve worked all their lives for. Liberals trying to destroy every principal this great nation was founded upon. Violence and crime, gangs, and drive-by shootings. School bullying. Divorce, broken homes, latch-key children
raising themselves because daddy’s not around and mama has to work all the time. Drug abuse and addiction destroying our youth. Anxiety, PTSD, depression, suicide
rates all climbing.Everywhere we look there is something to be afraid of.
But one of the greatest gifts of Christmas is often forgotten or overlooked: No matter what is going on in the world around us, we do not have to be afraid. Notice in the accounts of Christ's birth: every announcement included the words “Fear not”.
Do not be afraid, Mary. This child is the Son of God; He will sit on His father David's throne, and will reign forever and ever. He is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Do not be afraid, Joseph. Mary was not unfaithful to you. This child is of the Holy Spirit, not man, and He will save His people from their sins. He is the Messiah, the promised One, the Savior.
To the shepherds in the fields, the news of Christ's birth carried the same message: “Fear not”. Do not be afraid of this heavenly vision, for it is to bring you such incredible good news – and not just you – it shall be to all people! For a Savior is born today in the city of Bethlehem, which is Christ the Lord.
That message was for us too. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we do not have to be afraid of all the terrible things we see going on around us in this world.
Fear not, for we know that the same God who created this world is still Sovereign over it all. Fear not, for greater is He that is in us, than he who is in the world! Fear not, for the same power that raised Christ from the dead is
alive and at work within us today. Fear not, for that same power will one day raise us from death also.
Fear not, for we know we have an eternal home in heaven, with our Lord and our King, forever and ever.
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, take a moment to thank God for the forgotten gift of Christmas: Fear Not!