And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10
In a fallen world, there are a multitude of phobias. Perhaps the most well known is claustrophobia, the fear of being in small, confined spaces. Those who suffer from this in a severe way avoid even elevators. Dentophobia is the fear of going to the dentist, presumably not just facing the invoice, but actual panic attacks at having to have your teeth checked. Glossophobia is the fear of speaking in public. There are also the fear of spiders (arachnophobia), the fear of bridges (gephyrophobia), and the fear of seeing blood (hemophobia), as well as many others.
The Shepherds were calmly guarding their sheep one night, like so many nights before, when an Angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and Scripture says, “they were filled with great fear!” And the first words of the angel are, “Fear not!” In a world overcome by fears and phobias, how important it is that we hear the message of the angels today – “Fear not!”
In fact the message of the angel is one that replaces great fear with great joy! And what exactly is the message? How do we move from great fear to great joy? “I bring you good news!” The angels are bearing the message of the good news – of the gospel! And the only way of replacing great fear with great joy is by embracing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! Yes, both the Saviour and the gospel are in their infancy at this point – but God is working out the glorious good news exactly according to His perfect plan, and it will culminate on the cross of Calvary, and the empty tomb!
There are a great many phobias in the world, but perhaps the most tragic is Christougenniatikophobia – the fear of Christmas! Christmas is the celebration of the most glorious, good news this world has ever received – God has broken into history to achieve for mankind, what all the laws and ceremonies of the Old Testament could never, ever accomplish! Salvation is of the Lord! Hallelujah! What a Saviour! May this glorious good news fill our hearts to overflowing, and so drive out every fear and anxiety that we experience, to His eternal glory!