We are about to enter the Do Not Be Afraid season. Everywhere you turn in the Christmas story is someone being told to not be afraid. Mary is told to not be afraid, Joseph is told to not be afraid, and then the Shepherds are told to not be afraid.
What was going on that would make them afraid? It was God’s work in their life that had the potential to change everything. These encounters with God’s angels were fearful because everything was about to change. From the way they were now going to look at the world to what they were being asked to do, their lives were never going to be the same.
Why do we fear God’s action in our lives? For one, we have spent many long years shaping our existence and identity. No matter how faulty our reasoning or misguided our behavior has been, we have grown attached to who we are. There is a level of comfort to our identity that we fear changing.
Second, with change comes more responsibility because we have to be accountable to that change. We have to answer to it and about it. That requires conversations with people who may not understand what God has done in our lives. Or we may experience judgement from the hearer that we would rather not have to deal with. Think about the responsibility placed on Mary and Joseph as they accepted the change to their life that was on the way. That was a heavy burden for them, yet, they were told to not be afraid because everything was going to turn out okay.
In this Do Not Be Afraid season, do not shy away from God’s work in your life. In the slogan of our day – lean into it. If you can just be obedient and move forward in Christ’s ways for your life you will experience transformative miracles that will revolutionize who you are and the world you participate in.
Do Not Be Afraid.