But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias…. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary…. (KJV)
There is not much to fear when we wish someone a merry Christmas. More often than not, Christians are the ones who are afraid to utter the C-word in December lest someone be offended. Yet when the angels appeared to announce the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus, they had to tell Zechariah and Mary not to be afraid. What is going on here?
The word “angel” simply means “messenger.” Messengers from God were fearsome beings, yet when they approached humans, they did not water down their message or do anything to disguise it or themselves. They simply said, “Do not fear,” and proceeded to deliver the message. They spoke with the authority they had been given by God.
We, too, are angels in the sense that we are messengers of God. He has entrusted to us the Good News of Jesus and has given us the authority to take it to others. We must never water it down or approach our task with embarrassed hesitation. We must be bold and confident, for ours is a message that must get through.
O Lord, our God, You have given to weak creatures the awesome task of being angels. Strengthen us for our calling. May we boldly share Your love and grace and light and truth with a dark and hurting world, just as the angels did in the time of Zechariah and Mary. In the name of our most holy Lord Jesus we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2011 by Steven R. Perkins