“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” Luke 2:8-20
“Fear not,” were the first words of the angel. As we come to Christmas and the end of 2020, we know that we have lived in a world that has in many ways been consumed with fear. Fear of a virus. Fear of unemployment. Fear of the unknown. Fear of many things.
Fear not, said the angels. The fear in this passage was the appearance of heavenly beings that would invoke fear in these shepherds, but the words of assurance were so that the shepherds could hear the message of hope and the good news of great joy. This Christmas let us seek to drive away some of the fear of the current state of our world and remember the one who came to earth that we might have peace with God. The one who makes it possible for the Christian to have no fear. For God is with me, what can man do to me? And if God is with me—and He is. And if God is sovereign – and He is. Then I can rest in Him, and rejoice in this Savior, and give glory to God. In spite of what is happening throughout the world.
May we rejoice that our Lord has come, and in that rejoicing may we help others to see peace, hope, light, and truth. Fear not!