v10-11 “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”.
The angelic voice to the shepherds, announcing the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem was good news given in the night while the shepherds kept watch over their flock. The fear and wonder the shepherds experienced at the time of the angelic presence had a terrifying nature. The words ‘fear not’ or ‘do not be afraid’ were the soothing words that helped them to listen carefully to the message about the child in the manger. Listening of the divine proclamation inspired them to go to Bethlehem and see the child, the Savior. The praising that followed by the heavenly hosts, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors” empowered them to journey to Bethlehem saying, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place”. They hastened and reached to see Mary and Joseph and the child lying in the manger. They not only saw the child Jesus and stood amazed by the sight of the Son of God, they also became the first witness to the new born child and shared the good news to others.
The shepherds believed the words spoken to them and responded. Whereas when King Herod heard about the birth of the child through the wise men, he got frightened and acted in a different way (Matt 2.3). Fear and anxiety sometimes cripple right action and lead to destroying the life of innocents. There is the need to remove fear in order to do things in the right way with care and confidence.
This Christmas we celebrate in the midst of fear and uncertainty. However, the guiding presence of God as Immanuel gives confidence and hope. Let our life journey be without fear, leading to the destination and seeing the right vision of the Divine.
May God bless everyone at this Christmas to experience the joy of salvation provided by our Lord!
Abba Father, thank you for the gift of your Son, born among us humans. Drive away our fear so that we may adore you whole heartedly and be your witnesses this Christmas Day and forever more, Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Immanuel – God is with us, today and forever more.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Philoxenos
Diocesan Episcopa, Diocese of North America and Europe
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church