In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the LORD stood before them, and the glory of the LORD shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11 (New Revised Standard Version)
In these fields near Bethlehem, where suddenly the Lord’s glorious and extraordinary light shines with awesome blinding brilliance, the shepherds see an angel standing in their presence. Perhaps it was Gabriel, who had brought his good news earlier to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Concerning this, though, we can only speculate. The only thing Luke tells us is that this anonymous angel, standing before the shepherds, was glowing with and surrounded in God’s glory.
What we do know is that the shepherds were terribly afraid. Putting ourselves in that same field, witnesses to this phenomenal event, how might we have reacted? We probably would have been filled with numbing terror too, and maybe even fainted!? Or, at the very least, struck silent! It’s not every day we hear about angels suddenly appearing in the midst of people’s ordinary lives; while shepherding, teaching, firefighting, supervising, or farming.
But have no fear, for God speaks Good News-always. The angel tells the shepherds, “Do not be afraid…” This is something we can take into ourselves, tucking the messenger’s powerful words into our own hearts. When we’re fearful, doubtful, confused, worried, or anxious we can be assured by these words, proclaimed through God’s angel.
Don’t be afraid. —Because to us the Savior will be born, the Savior will be given, who is the Messiah, the Lord! This is God’s glorious message of joy, hope, and peace for all people. Advent blessings be yours!
Prayer: O Holy One of peace, free me from fear, and let me find comfort apart from anxiety. Invite me to where you’ll have me go; into the unknown as well as the known. Though I may be fearful, worried, or anxious, I know I can put my trust in you. In Christ Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Wondering While Waiting: When you feel anxious, worried, or afraid, what faith practices ground or calm you?
Jill — Inspire. Ignite. Invite.
St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church; Batesville IN