You wouldn’t think it true, but Christmas is a fearful story. Have you noticed? Fear is all over the place. When the angels visit, the first thing they tell people is to not be afraid. An angel visits Mary and tells her to not be afraid. She is then told that GOD has selected her to be the mother of the Messiah. This startling pronouncement is not something an unwed, teenage girl wants to hear, especially when she lives in a culture that stones pregnant, unwed, teenage girls. Mary must have been afraid. Again. Then there is Joseph trying to politely divorce his way out of this hazardous situation because of fear. The angel tells him, “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife.” The wise men show up out of the blue later and ask King Herod about the new king. So then he’s afraid. He ends up killing all the newborn sons, which strikes fear in everyone’s heart. Then the wise men return home by a different route because they are afraid. Fear is all over the story of Jesus’ birth. It almost stole the first Christmas.
What was everyone afraid of? The future mostly. GOD was bringing to pass His masterful and brilliant plan of redemption for the world and all the main players were facing a common enemy – Fear.
It is still true today. The main obstacle for anyone who wants to follow Jesus is fear. We fear what may or may not happen. We fear how people will respond. We fear being out of control. We fear all kinds of potential threats. And the reality about fear is that it is in our heads. Fear is a thought or an idea. But Christ is a reality. He was the real stuff that first Christmas. He still is. Follow Christ and face your fears. Don’t let them decide your future.