sore afraid

Best moment of Christmas TV. Ever.

Yes, Christmas is over, though our family extended it this year quite a bit. Nevertheless, some thoughts deserve revisiting.

Here’s an fyi Linus knew—real angels do not resemble Precious Moments figurines. At all. They do not have sweet cherub faces, they do not hover over people and toss flower petals and good feelings, and they do not await their wings by anything we may say or do for them. (Sorry Jimmy Stewart, you know how much I love you and your movie.) They are also not our dead relatives, but that’s another story.

Real angels, the way they talk about them in the Bible, are big, scary things George Lucas could not imagine the special effects for. They could and should scare the heck out of anyone who happens to be visited by one. They don’t look like my angel collection, however much I love it. They are the material for “sore afraid” to be sure.

In the coming year, I want to focus here on fears—what they are, what they aren’t, and why we need or don’t need them. I figured the Christmas story was the place to start.
“An angel of he 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 people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2.10-11
Whenever an angel greets someone, the first line is often, “Do not be afraid.” Like they are well aware they need to break the ice with something a little disarming. Then immediately, they follow that up with the why. In this case, do not be afraid because . . . here’s the news, and you’re going to like it.
The things that look terrifying to us from our perspective aren’t always. Sure, if you’re on the wrong side of an angel, things could get heated, and you will lose. But the shepherds weren’t. They were just receiving a newsflash from a cosmically cool messenger. They also were being given a job.
The things that terrify us probably look a lot worse than they really are as well. But when we stop covering our eyes, turn around, and look and listen, we can discover the message those things are trying to deliver.
So I’m inviting you to join me on a journey this year. Or just today, your call. What do you fear? List the top five. Write them on a piece of scratch paper, on your bathroom mirror, in your Bible, or right here in the comments. It would be great to share together to know what the biggies are. Then decide which one you’re going to spend time with this week opening your eyes to and listening to the message behind it. Let me know what you discover. It just might be good news of great joy!

4 thoughts on “sore afraid

  1. Interesting post! It's true that angels, with all their accompanying brightness, caused fear to their viewers. So did any appearance of the glory of God. I think it is interesting that sometimes, angels (like the ones who visited Abraham and Lot) looked just like ordinary guys. No one feared them, because they appeared incognito. So true that the things we fear might just be messages from the Lord. A cool concept. Thank you!


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