The Fear of the Lord

Advent A, Dec 4 2013
Read Luke 2:8-9

There are more than 366 verses in the Bible telling us not to be afraid or not to worry or be anxious– more than one for every day in the year.

Zechariah, Mary, and even the shepherds, were afraid when the angel spoke to them!  Zechariah “was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him.” (Luke 1: 12). Mary “was much perplexed and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.” (Luke 1:29). 

But in every case the angel reassured them that the angel was bringing good news!

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard.” (Luke 1:13)

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30)

“Do not be afraid; for see –I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:” (Luke 2:10)

There is nothing more frightening or more awful –in the sense of awe-inspiring –than to realize that God is speaking directly to me.  Who, me?  Surely this isn’t God speaking?  (Yes, it is I.)  Surely you must mean someone else?  (No –I’m talking to you!

Meditation:  Perhaps this is the real reason I fail to hear and recognize God –it is too scary to think that God might really have something to say directly to me!  And yet, if I remember God’s love, if I think about God and praise God for who God is –what have     I to fear? God wants only to love me and to receive my love in return.

when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid;… Psalm 56:3-4, NRSV


About Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith has 20 years’ experience in technical writing and management in software companies. She also has more than 20 years in Christian ministry as an educator, course designer, retreat leader, spiritual director, pastor, and coach. A United Methodist Deacon, Smith has her M.Div. from Boston University. She is a graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance, and is certified in Spiritual Direction and Retreat Leadership from Boston College.
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