But the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid; for see –
I am bringing you good news
of great joy for all the people…”
Most of us have a vague recollection of the Christmas story. There are some wise men and shepherds, an angel or two, a baby in a manger. I’m pretty sure there’s a donkey.
But really, does it have anything to do with our lives now? What does Christmas in 2021 have to do with a Christmas 2,021 years ago?
Christmas is all about friends and family, festive lights, feasting. It’s a time of hope and joy. But what about fear?
What are you afraid of?
Maybe it’s that the pandemic might continue to dominate our lives forever. Maybe it’s about how you’ll make ends meet this Christmas. Maybe you’re afraid for the future of our planet. Maybe you’re afraid of your own loneliness or maybe you’re afraid that you can’t hold everything together. Maybe you’re afraid because you don’t know what the future holds or because you don’t know whether you’ve made the right decisions. Maybe you’re afraid about whether your loved ones are happy.
Whatever your fear, the Christmas story has something to say about it.
In the story, an angel appears to the shepherds and says: “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people…”.
You might think this is just part of an old story. But it’s a message of hope for you, today. It’s a message of good news, that there is a reason to be joyful that is bigger than fear. This is a message that Christians believe in, that makes a real difference in their lives.
I believe God’s love is stronger than my fears.
This doesn’t mean I don’t feel afraid. I feel scared about all kinds of things – most of the things listed earlier, in fact. But it means that I know, no matter what happens, I am loved, and that God is with me. I know there are people in my life who are sometimes like the angel, reminding me of this good news – that in all the chaos of life, love is stronger than fear. Who are your angels?
Believing the message of the angel is a choice. This Christmas, and every day, I choose to believe in the power of joy, the power of hope, the power of love over fear. What do you choose?
The joy and hope and love of God are yours. And they are more powerful than the fear you feel. God is with you.
If you’re interested in exploring the Christian faith further, please click here.
Throughout December, we are sharing a series of contemporary reflections online, linking the Christmas characters in this painting with current affairs and concerns in Britain and around the world. Follow our social media channels to see them, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This article was written by Holly Adams, one of the team behind Finding our Hope and employed by the Methodist Church. You can find out more about the Methodist Church here.
The picture is called Nativity and is a painting by Dr He Qi – a Chinese artist living in California, USA.