Scary Christmas

His scream was blood-curdling.  But there was nothing I could do.  It was the middle of the night, the house was dark, and just as I approached the bathroom door, my little brother came out and saw me standing there.  He woke the whole family.  You should have seen what Dad looked like when came flying out of his bedroom…   I got thinking about that night as I read these familiar lines:

” And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:8-11)

Understandably, before the angel said anything about good news or about the Christ child being born, He said “Don’t be afraid!”  Don’t freak out, I’m not going to hurt you.  He probably was trying to stop all the screaming.  Can you imagine how the shepherds felt, out there in the field, minding their own business in the middle of the night, when suddenly they get lit up with a search light from above?  “Don’t be afraid!”

I’ve never seen “Don’t be Afraid!” on a Christmas card but maybe we should start adding that phrase to our Christmas greetings.  “Don’t be afraid – Merry Christmas!”  What do you think?  I sense a lot of fear out there concerning the Christmas message.  People seem to want to make Christmas go away.  Perhaps it frightens them?  It used to frighten me, back when I was a confirmed doubter.  I didn’t want to be a sucker and buy into any false legends.  I was afraid to believe – kind of like a little kid on the end of a diving board for the first time.

I know better now.  Come on in, He won’t hurt you!  Don’t be afraid!  Merry Christmas!

Quotes: The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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