This particular night was calm and pretty much mundane – a night just like hundreds before it. They were out at night transporting livestock from one location to the next. They had stopped to rest a bit and they were looking up at the beautiful night sky. I would imagine the conversation between the men was typical guy talk, I mean after all they were rugged farmhands. I am sure they loved being outside in the fresh air and the peace and quiet.
All of a sudden their world was turned upside down and their agenda was radically changed. Their calm was disturbed, their quiet was interrupted by commotion, and their peace was turned to stark terror. All of a sudden someone appeared to be floating above them in the sky. It was an angel. Had they had too much to drink? Were the sheep finally getting to them? Had they finally lost their minds? No, no, and probably, no. This was really happening. Now this one angel was joined by a host of angels and they were announcing the birth of the Messiah, the Chosen One of God who would deliver God’s people from oppression and establish again the
Can you imagine what that must have felt like? You are sitting there one moment, engaged in the routine, on a quiet evening just like all others, when out of nowhere suddenly you start seeing and hearing angels. And the humor of it all? The angel’s first words . . . “Don’t be afraid.” (Yeah, right!) “For behold, I bring you good news which shall be great joy for all the people. Today in the city of
Don’t be afraid. Let those words sink in. Don’t be afraid. Friends, you and I have absolutely NOTHING to fear, all because of Christmas. Since Jesus came into this world, we can exchange FEAR for HOPE. Think about it . . . what is the thing we fear most? Probably death. But since Jesus came and died for our sins, we need not fear death if we have placed our trust in Him and sworn our allegiance to Him. Paul said, “O death where is your sting, O grave, where is your victory . . . Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And if death is defeated, what is there in LIFE that we need fear?
This Christmas, I challenge you to focus on the HOPE that He brings into the world. I am certainly no angel, as I am sure you will all agree, but I do have some good news. Whatever your fear, whatever your worry, whatever your anxiety, Jesus wants to, can, and will take it on Himself if you will let Him.
Have no fear, Jesus is here! THAT is the message of Christmas.