“Fear Not “ is what the angel of the Lord says to Mary, Joseph and Zechariah. When angels show up in the lives of biblical characters, the angels are frightening. These angels that came to announce strange births are scary things. Zechariah and Elizabeth are not prepared for it because they are old. Mary and Joseph are young and not yet married. Of course they are afraid, but they all respond, eventually, in positive ways and actions.
In recent political campaigns there has been fear used as a tactic. This did not happen in the recent Waterloo Region elections. When fear is used as a tactic, it is very hard to undo that. If I do not vote for a certain candidate, I might lose my job, immigrants will overwhelm us or if I vote for the other, government entitlements will bankrupt us. It is never good to make decisions based on fear or guilt. We must be positive about who we are, and about the policies that we want our country to be about. We must act well to each other. We must be brave, and hold onto to values that make us Canadian.
And in our churches, we must act the same. We must not use fear to hold people hostage. We must love each other with love that passes all understanding, and extend that love to everyone. We must not guilt people into acting and believing in certain ways. We must be brave and courageous.
Mary is told by the angel that she will be the mother of the Messiah, the Saviour of the world. Joseph is told the same, but he knows that he is not the dad. He wants to walk ( or run fast ) away. Zechariah is so overwhelmed with the idea of he and wife being pregnant, that he was struck quiet, till his son ( John the Baptist ) is born. But all three visitors from heaven, tell them to “ fear not “ or do not be afraid, or do not let your fears overwhelm what you must do in the story of God here on this earth.
I find it so strange that God does need us humans, the shepherds, the mom, the Wise People, to help bring about his Kingdom. Do not be afraid of the surprise that might come to your life. Listen to nature, listen to the angels in your life, listen to the Church, and listen to Word, and to the Spirit, as you are called to change the world in positive and life giving ways. Be Mary or Joseph this Advent and Christmas season. Have a “Fear Not“ Christmas!
This is my final article on the Observer website. I thank the newspaper for publishing my articles for over two years. I am now a Township Councillor here in Woolwich, and so in consideration of possible or perceived conflict of interests, I will stop writing for the Observer. You can receive my articles at ponderanewsite.wordpress.com, facebook or my blog at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please stay in touch.
Salaam and strength for all of our journeys of life, and faith.