The angel said to [the shepherds], “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11
Isn’t it interesting that God’s angelic announcement of Christmas begins with, “Do not be afraid”? What do fear and Christmas have in common? Based on people’s Christmas anxieties, plenty!
December fills many with depression. Some are overwhelmed by what their Christmas celebration should feel like, look like, even sound like. Thoughts of creating the perfect Christmas celebration fill many with stress.
Some dread Christmas due to money issues and the pressure to spend more than they can afford. Other have lost loved ones, making Christmas a painful trigger of past memories and missed loved ones. There is pressure to attend Christmas gatherings. As anxieties grow, so do shame, guilt and the gaping hole of depression.
If you’ve ever been fearful or anxious at Christmas, you’re in good company. Mary, Joseph and the shepherds all felt fears.
No warm, safe, sterile birthing suite or medical team would help Mary give birth to her first child. Instead she faced the stress of childbirth with only Joseph to help her. No room at Bethlehem’s inn meant a barn was the best shelter Joseph could find for Jesus’ birth. Imagine the anxiety this couple faced when Jesus was born.
The shepherds were filled with fears too. “Terrified” described their reaction to a sky full of angels. They might have wondered, “Did God send the angels to punish us?”
God knows your fears. That’s why the announcement of Christmas begins with an amazing command, “Do not be afraid!” This is good news for you! God has come in the flesh to erase all your fears!
Ever fear not measuring up? Jesus came to forgive you from all your past faults or present failures. Anxious over a life situation? God says, “Do not be afraid!” You don’t have to do life on your own. God came at Christmas to prove his love and to assure you, “Never will I leave you or forsake you!”
Peace comes from a life free from fears. God’s Christmas comfort is, “Do not be afraid!” Rescue has come. A Savior has been born for you!