Have you ever played the role of the angel in a Christmas play? If you have, you were able to bring good news: “‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord'” (Luke 2:10–11). But, why did they need this message?
Do Not Be Afraid: 2 Reasons Why This Message Was Needed
Can you imagine what it was like for the shepherds? They were living out in the fields, doing their thing looking after the sheep. Then out of the blue, things changed and they had reason to be afraid.
- They were seeing something different and unusual. A heavenly being, no less. It appeared to them and scared them stiff. Only the shepherd and their sheep were supposed to be out in that field. A human being appearing would have been one thing. Even that would have been a cause for concern. However, a heavenly being, something totally unknown to them, was another matter It was time to be afraid and time for the angel’s message—do not be afraid.
- They were experiencing something different and unusual. The glory of the Lord appeared. From everything you read in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, the manifestation of the glory of the Lord was overwhelming. It was not something that you were able to look at easily. Moreover, the Lord’s glory was such an experience that those prophets and other saints of old described it in similes. It is small wonder that they were afraid and needed to hear the message—do not be afraid.
Do Not Be Afraid: 2 Reasons Why This Message Is Still Needed
As you end 2015 and move into 2016, you are aware that something is different. The world is changing right before your eyes.
- You are seeing something different and unusual. Whether it be the scourge of ISIS, the mass shootings, or protests of various types, changing weather patterns and multiple weather related disasters, what you see on the news is different. At times you may find it hard to maintain composure because the narrative is written and spoken in such a way as to drive fear. As we noted before, fear sells.
- You are experiencing something different and unusual. The Internet that has given rise to social media, apps, streaming and more all lead to you experience life differently. You have access to more information than ever before. Your friends’ joys and sorrows, the world’s joys and sorrows are right there at your fingertip. In addition, people you don’t know have access to information about you in ways of which you’re not even fully aware. It is a different world with different experiences. Still, do not be afraid.
From 2015 to 2016—Do Not Be Afraid
Often, the unusual difference causes you to be afraid. New experiences and sights can cause you to be afraid. This is particularly so as you move from one year to another. As hymnwriter Philip Doddridge put it:
With grateful hearts ,the past we own;
The future, all to us unknown,
That unknown you face on the threshold of a new year is symbolized by different and unusual sights and experiences. It is very important, therefore, to listen again to the message of the angel who announced the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord (Luke 2:10–11).
Therefore, go into 2016 with joy in the assurance of good news, trusting in this Savior, this anointed one who lives. Surrender in prayer and listen to God in Jesus Christ speak and direct you as you move from one year to another.
Get closer to God and gain a deeper understanding of who God is.
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