December 3, 2022
Read: Luke 1:26-33
“…The angel (Gabriel) went to Mary and said, ‘Greetings, you are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.”
Lk 1:28 -30
A visit from the angel of God is a scary prospect.
Two days ago we read of the angel Gabriel coming to Zechariah, John the Baptist`s father. That did not end well – Zechariah ended up losing his voice for months, until John was born. Now the angel Gabriel appears to Mary. YIKES!
Mary had lots to be afraid of – pregnancy carries it`s own anxieties and trepidations for all women; plus Mary is unwed, and now this angel conveys incredible responsibility on to her -`You will give birth to a son… He will be great… he will reign forever, his kingdom will never end.” Yikes indeed!
And yet the angel precedes her declaration with the statement. “Do not be afraid, Mary…” That’s got to be hard, but Mary apparently accepted the challenge.
When have you felt challenged by a life event, or responsibility that was so great that it frightened you? We experience fear in many different forms – fear of a diagnosis or illness or death, anxiety about our lifes’ direction, fear that we’re not good enough, or strong enough to do what needs to be done. As you think about your life situation, and what may lie ahead, What scares you? Imagine an angel coming to you and saying “Be not afraid”.
WHY? Why Not be afraid?
The angel gives us the answer – in the announcement of this birth. “He will be great…his kingdom will never end”. Our God has come in One who is greater than all our fears and trepidations. God is with us, and can be trusted to bring us through all that scares.
Be not afraid. AMEN.
Written by: Nancy & Orville James