Have you ever seen someone do something death-defying? Recently, in a social media photo, my cousin posted a pic of herself performing a running "happy kick" over the thinnest sliver of "Devil's Bridge" in Sedona, Arizona. Her caption was so appropriate: "DOING IT AFRAID!"
It's a true statement... We do so many fearful-to-us things (because, for whatever reason, we need to do them), but we "do it afraid." Pause for a minute and think of an example in your own life......
Then we come to the Christmas Story, when on three occasions, supra-beings from Heaven (angels) interact with non-special beings from earth (humans). Each time the higher says to the lower: "Do Not Be Afraid." Alright Mr. "I'm so insightful and seemingly unaware of your feelings," what are you going to do about the source of my fear?
- In Mary's case in Luke 1, she is still afraid due to everything in life that is about to change, all of it out of her control. Instead of planning her wedding, to become a wife, now she will be planning a birth, to become a Mom, maybe, without a husband. Would Joseph ever understand this bit of news?
- In Joseph's case in Matthew 1, he is still afraid of what people in his culture are going to think and say and maybe even do when they find out that his fiancé is pregnant, even if he tries to convince them he didn't father the child.
- And in the shepherds’ case in Luke 2, they are afraid (terrified is the word) because it’s a big ole’ angel who’s talking to them! An angel talking to shepherds? They know their own status. They’re outsiders, the paid-to-camp zookeepers, watching their flocks, even at night.
In each story, the source of fear is still intact however, in each case, the Heaven-beings had information that changed everything. Good news to change views.
- To Mary: This child to be born will be the world’s reigning King with a Kingdom that will break into this broken world. And Mary, He is your King.
- To Joseph: This son will be God in the flesh, God with us, coming to rescue everyone. And Joseph, He is God with you, and He is coming to rescue you.
- To the shepherds: This child WHO HAS ALREADY BEEN BORN is the Messiah. And yes, He has been born for you because you matter to God.
God has something so much more for us than a hope that we will “do it afraid.” When He says, “Do not be afraid,” He steps up as the reason we can respond with authenticity and actually possess no fear because He is more... than the source of fear and He is greater than fear itself.
What are you afraid of? Talk with God about it. Let the story of His Son wrap itself around your heart until the fear is gone. He is your Saviour and He is with you. “Do not be afraid.” ...No, really. Do not be afraid.