By: Chad Hyatt
Luke 2. 1-20
Reflection—v. 10, ‘The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid…”’
Today is Christmas, and the message of the angel speaks to uncertain times such as ours. The invitation to not allow fear to dominate our lives is a call to enter into and to help create truly safe spaces—for ourselves and for others. Through Zechariah, Luke tells us God’s people will be ‘saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us’ so that we might serve God ‘without fear… all the days of our lives’ (1.71, 74-75). We live in times in which it seems everyone is afraid. We even fear one another. But for the God of the Nativity, freedom from fear always begins first at the margins, at the edges, outside our huddled encampments. First to poor shepherds the angel comes, even as they are trembling in terror, and comforts them, ‘Do not be afraid.’ This message is truly for all of us. But first it comes to those outside any sense of protection and safety, outside city and village, upon the wild plains. We must respond to the gospel call to not be afraid any longer by going first to those outside, those left out, joining with them to create the safe places, the safe world, that God’s joyous salvation promises us all.
Prayer O Christ, be with us—a safe place for all people—and save us from fear.