Several times leading into and surrounding the birth of Jesus, the Gospels record angels bringing the message from God, “Do not be afraid.” We explore some of these “fear not” messages as we prepare for the birth of Jesus. They are particularly relevant in a world where there are so many things that could cause us fear or anxiety.
Today, Mary learns from the angel Gabriel that she will give birth. “How can this be?” Humanly speaking, Mary is not at all ready to have a child—let alone one that will be called the “Son of God.” God, however, grants her His favor and a faith that responds, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” Are you and I open to all God’s plans for our lives, even if they take us by surprise or could be in conflict with own plans? How do those words from God, “Do not be afraid,” and the promise that His favor rests upon us provide us with the determination to serve the Lord?