Fear of one kind or another appears to be part of the human condition. This is not surprising, since the human condition is essentially that of a fallen world filled with inherently sinful people. The newspapers tend to remind us of this every day.
Everyone probably has his or her own deep-rooted fear. Fear of death? Fear of loneliness? Fear of poverty? These are all powerful fears. If you have sinned and do not understand or accept the gospel, perhaps you fear the wrath of God most of all.
Small wonder, then, that the shepherds felt a certain emotion when visited by angels:
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of
the Lord shone around them and they were filled with fear. (Luke 2:9) [ESV].
We are then allowed to read in Scripture, just as the shepherds heard, the most joyous and reassuring words ever uttered in any language:
Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).
Fear not! Fear not! This is almighty God telling us through his angels, through Scripture, and through the Holy Spirit to fear not!
Friends, at the risk of stating the obvious, we have nothing to fear. We have nothing to do but live out our lives in joy and hope, fellowship and love.
Doubts and concerns about the significance of your personal fears? You might enjoy reviewing the final chapter of Knowing God by J.I. Packer (London: Hodder & Stoughton) 1973. The Christmas message is not only for Christmas.
In Faith and Fellowship,