Fear Not!

November 29, 2015

Throughout the Christmas narratives in the Bible, a key phrase rings out time and time again.

Fear Not!



The angel Gabriel uttered these words to Zechariah when informing him that his wife, Elizabeth, would give birth to John.

Fear Not!

Gabriel also offered these words to Mary when telling her she would give birth to the Messiah. 

Fear Not!

An angel spoke these words to Joseph in a dream while reassuring Joseph to marry Mary and raise Jesus. 

Fear Not!

An angel used these words while announcing the birth of Jesus to shepherds near Bethlehem. 

Fear Not!

These words ring out throughout scriptures, such as when God spoke to Abram in a vision, when an angel spoke to Hagar, when God spoke to Jacob, when God spoke to Joshua, when God spoke to Gideon, and when God spoke through the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Zechariah, and Malachi. Some of the passages from the prophets allude to the coming birth of the Messiah.  

Fear Not!

The grown Jesus invoked these words, as did an angel at the empty tomb. The resurrected Jesus used these words in the vision of John in the Bible's last book. 

Fear Not!

Today we hardly heed these words. We fear greatly. We fear terrorists. We even fear refugees. And when we fear, we also ignore another often-repeated biblical admonition: "love your neighbor as yourself." We forget to fear not our enemies so we forget to love them. We forget to fear not the refugees so we forget to love them. As John the disciple wrote in 1 John 4:

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."


As we start this holy season of Advent, may we listen closely to the words of scripture, the words of the angels and the prophets. May we recommit ourselves to following the biblical commands to fear not and to love. May the hope, peace, joy, and love of this season teach us a new way.

Fear Not!

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