Fear Not

We all know the story of Christmas, we all know the characters involved and are familiar with what we have heard and learned over time. So, the purpose of what I am teaching this month will not simply be a re-telling of what we know, but rather, to take a new look, get a new perspective that will challenge us to draw closer to Him and to embrace this amazing gift we have been given, in a much deeper way than ever before.The Passage we find in Luke 2:10 contains a very important phrase: “Fear Not.” These words are used multiple times throughout the Bible and are not just simply words of comfort or without reason. As with all things that God proclaims, there is a purpose. The word fear simply means:

  • to be afraid
  • to have anxiety
  • to have dread
  • to have uneasiness or concern
  • but it also means to regard with awe

All of these definitions are important when it comes to understanding the Lord. When we think of the moment that the angel proclaimed to the shepherds, to Mary, to Joseph, “fear not” the initial meaning was clearly “do not be afraid.” Obviously seeing an angel is quite the experience to start with and then when they begin to talk to you and are telling you of supernatural things and that you will be involved, it is quite an overwhelming thought. The concern or outright fear that each of them more than likely expressed (facially) is how most of us would have reacted as well.

So, the words “fear not” were stated as a manner of saying “just calm down, it will be ok.” On the other side of this is the “regard with awe” part. We are told in the Bible that the “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of wisdom. The beginning of wisdom, what is that saying to us? In order to fully embrace God and who He really is, one must “regard him with awe.” In other words: realize He is so much more than anything we could imagine, but at the same time, He is someone we should trust because there has never been given one reason not to.

All the characters we have come to know, who are involved in the “Christmas story,” we see that each of them were given this same proclamation: “fear not.” While indeed this involved literal fear, it also spoke of having faith and trusting in God that all would be good. This same thing applies to all of us right now.

We can all agree on the uncertainty of our world right now. We can all agree it is a mess. There is no good way to define things anymore. Corruption, scandal, perversion, injustice, shameful acts, these all dominate the headlines. These topics are the daily news, nightly news, and it seems to never end. Each day brings a new batch of some depravity and reminds us of how far things can go when one does not follow the Lord or adhere to His ways.

In the midst of it all we, as ones who do follow, as ones who do trust in Him, we need to hear the angels voice and embrace “fear not.” We need to not get anxious about what we are seeing. We need to not be overwhelmed with doubt and concern as to how it is all going to work out. Instead what we need is to “regard in awe” the One that we have faith in and show Him, by the way we live, that we actually trust Him and fully believe, it will all work out.

The world is in the condition it is in because of sin. This will not be reported on any network or cable news. This subject is taboo and not one that will be openly spoken of. The idea that our actions have consequence seems to be a foreign idea anymore. At one time, this was a normal understanding of how things worked. If you hit your thumb with a hammer: it hurts. Everyone understood this, but now it has somehow become the maker of the hammers fault if it causes pain, when you use it incorrectly.

Those who are touching people inappropriately are saying: “I am sorry you were offended” as if to state “I did not realize my actions were not acceptable.” We have moved into the age of “I am not accountable and when challenged, I will plead ignorance.” While no one likes to admit wrong, the truth is: wrong does take place and while multitudes of reasons can be given, at the end of it all, sin is the issue.

Sin simply meaning: missing the mark. It is not defining any one certain action or even grouping it all together so that it can be categorized as to what is worse. The Bible is clear: “all have sinned.” What does that mean? Does it mean everyone has been naughty at some point? In some ways, yes, but bigger than that, it truly means that no one has totally lived up to the standards that God has set, and that standard is holiness. In other words, the life we live is to reflect God and His ways. This speaks not of us being perfect, but rather kindness, compassion, love, true care, treating one another like we desire to be treated. In other words, making the world a better place to live.

Nothing we see going on in the world reflects the ways of God. It is a place filled with selfishness, pride, hate, division, glamorizing perversion and the list goes on and on. In all of this, one could be overwrought with doubts, concerns, sadness, depression, etc…

What we must embrace, what we must conclude is, that our faith in God, our belief that He can do that which is impossible, that such faith leads us to “fear not.” Let this special season, a time of lights, songs, joy, festive atmospheres, let it be filled with His promise that at all will be well, when everything is said and done. While we may not always understand things, in fact, we may not even like some of what we see, may we trust Him in it all. He has not lost control, He is fully aware of everything and in His perfect timing, it will all be handled, and it will be done in a very decisive manner.

So, grow in your faith, trust in the One who is able and “FEAR NOT.” When you do, your Christmas and life in general will be much merrier.

God bless you all and Merry Christmas,

Pastor Andy