Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid

“Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 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 2:9-11
Being in the presence of angels apparently wasn’t easy. It was disconcerting to be in the glory of the Lord. Maybe it was a blinding light or maybe the angels came with a loud noise but whatever it was it was jarring to those in the fields. It brought a sense of uneasiness to the shepherds who were out tending their flocks. 
Photo by Marek Studzinski on Unsplash
A confirming voice of the angel set the shepherds at ease. Don’t be afraid because the news we are announcing is good news that is of great joy! Be not afraid we come in peace.  It’s not just good news for you shepherds it is good news for ALL people.
With the world in its current state many are terrified. We are afraid that the world we live in is being destroyed by climate change. We live in fear of the other and our children are fearful even in their schools. We are an anxious and worried people who know brokenness and discord. What would we do if the proverbial angel appeared in the field of our lives today?  Are there angels in our midst whispering, “Be not afraid?”
Into the world God arrived. Into the world God came as a child. Into the world Emmanuel, God with Us came to fulfill the prophecies of the Messiah and the world has not been the same since. 
We believe that our call is to live both the love and the justice of Jesus. God’s extravagant, earth shattering, angel appearing Love has come and we are invited to be carriers of that love to the world. We are to work for a just world for all, to dismantle systems of oppression and hate, to speak up and out for justice, to be light bearers and truth tellers and advocates for the marginalized and forgotten.
Yet again we need to hear the angel’s message.  “Be not afraid.”  The world is a recipient of the good news.  As we rejoice in the news of the Incarnation, the birth of Christ, let us be heralds of hope and peace, joy and love.  A blessed Christmas to you and yours!


Kent J. Siladi

Rev. Kent Siladi is the Director of Philanthropy for the National Office of the United Church of Christ.

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