Updated: Nov 16, 2020
We get sent all over the place; we get sent to all kinds of people; we get sent to say all kinds of things....but whatever else we say, we say "Do not be afraid".
We said it to Zecheriah, we said it to Mary, we said it to Joseph, we said it to the shepherds....
We need to say it, because we frighten people.
Sometimes they're frightened because of what we look like - the light and the music can be a bit overwhelming. (You added the wings - that's not frightening; that's aerodynamically, and anatomically impossible!)
Sometimes they're frightened because of what they think is going to happen. And that makes sense - sometimes the news we bring is, shall we say, not entirely welcome.
But usually they are frightened because we're there at all. It's not that they haven't believed in God's presence and action, and suddenly we turn up and they have to change their minds. Not exactly. It's more that they thought that they believed, and then when we turn up, they discover that their belief was a bit more shallow, a bit less wholly secure than they thought. Like - they believe alright, but they don't think it's real....
And then we come along with whatever message it is, and suddenly they have to make sense of God actually doing stuff, actually involving them, actually making all these words about love and presence and with them, saving them, blessing them, calling them real and happening in the day to day world.
No matter how devout, how prayerful, how fiercely believing somebody is, the face to face encounter with God always throws them a bit. You can see it in their eyes -"What - you mean it really is true? Like true as in as true as the bread I eat, the rain on my face, the ache in my back?"
And our message? Yes,it is. That's what this Baby's birth is all about....God is with you, in the world as you are...complete with bread, rain and sore back.
Don't be afraid of it.
And because of that, don't be afraid of anything else.
Glory - that's what it is...