Do You Want This to Be a Christmas to Remember? Don’t Be Afraid!


Creator: xijian | Credit: Getty Images

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City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style. In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas, children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile and on every street corner……Silver bells, silver bells it’s Christmas time in the city, ring-a-ling, hear them sing, soon it will be Christmas day…”.

The expressed feelings composed by Jay Livingston and Rays Evans in the song Silver Bells, reflects the experience you met in every small town and big cities in Tanzania. It’s in fact Christmas time, the holiday mood is felt from all walks of life every one expressing it in their own unique ways, from spoiling oneself with all kind of luxuries, offering donations to the disadvantaged to reflecting the achievement and challenges of the year as we heading to an year end. Everyone is trying to make this a Christmas to remember, the one to keep dreaming of!

For this Christmas to be meaningful in your life, you better dive deep in its actual purpose. Celebrations and decorations will come to pass, and people go back to normal, but there is this core Christmas gift that lasts forever, which passes us by unnoticed while concentrating on consumables.

Luke the Evangelical tells us that, “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the 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 that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Shepherds are the first to hear about the birth of Jesus. Being a shepherd in first century was not considered to be a privileged position in society. The Jewish leaders often criticized shepherds as the nature of their work meant they could not always keep to religious rules (eg strict Sabbath observance.) This shows that the message of Jesus was for all people, even those considered to be insignificant or marginalized.

The core messages to shepherds is don’t be afraid, that’s what I want to give you this as a Christmas gift, to make this your Christmas to remember just don’t be afraid. Why? They say the only thing to fear is fear itself, because if there is no fear in our hearts and mind there would be no fear at all, fear is within ourselves not in the things we are afraid of.

Fear is one of the first consequences of sin. When Adam and Eve hear God coming to them in the garden, after they ate the forbidden fruit, and hide because they were afraid.

Fear leads people to separate themselves from God and their fellows, they become hostile toward God, themselves, and others. And sin produces a fear of death, sin’s ultimate end. Satan uses this fear as a weapon against us.

Whether Christian or not, religious or otherwise, the angel’s message to shepherds means a lot to you, the don’t be afraid phrase means to deliver us from the bondage of fear and its consequences. Without fear, Gods strengthens within us manifests its potential in an indescribable way, there is no reason to be afraid, and Satan is disarmed.

However there is a difference between feeling afraid and being afraid. A feeling of fear is a normal human response to a number of situations and experts says it is in many cases, a healthy response. But it is one thing to have the feeling of fear, and another thing entirely to be afraid – that is, to allow that fear to dictate our behavior.

According to many theologians people tend to have a complicated relationship with fear because there are several verses telling us to “fear God” or to have the “fear of the Lord.”

Theologians affirm that “fear” in Scripture tells us that fear does not always mean what we commonly take it to mean. For instance, in Exodus 20:20, where after giving the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai, the Bible says “And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin”.

Here people are told not to be afraid so that the fear of God would be with them. Clearly, the fear they should have is different from being afraid. This “fear of the Lord” is a respect and reverence for God, as opposed to what we commonly experience as fear.

It doesn’t matter how privileged or deprived you are, you have the choice within you to make the better version of you during this Christmas and forever just take the angel’s message seriously and apply it today.

Merry Christmas and Don’t be afraid!

You may also read Christmas Eve and The Carbon footprint: Sustainable Practices for a Greener Celebration.

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