"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, Fear not. for I bring you good tidings of
great joy that will be for all the people."
The particular part of this passage that caught my attention is "Fear not!" The first thing the angel says to them is "Fear Not!"
I happened today upon this blog written by Jason Soroski that I absolutely loved and conveyed what was in my heart about this phrase.
The Moment You Never Noticed in A Charlie Brown Christmas
I am a fan of all things nostalgic and all things Christmas, and so when the two are combined I am hooked, and the Charlie Brown Christmas special falls squarely into that category.
I was in the first grade back when they still performed Christmas pageants in schools (less than 50 years, but still a very long time ago), and our class performed a version of the Charlie Brown Christmas. Since I was kind of a bookworm and already had a blue blanket, I was chosen to play the part of Linus. As Linus, I memorized Luke 2:8-14, and that Scripture has been hidden in my heart ever since.
But while working so diligently to learn those lines, there is one important thing I didn’t notice then, and didn’t notice until now.
Right in the middle of speaking, Linus drops the blanket.
Charlie Brown is best known for his uniquely striped shirt, and Linus is most associated with his ever-present security blanket. Throughout the story of Peanuts, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally and others all work to no avail to separate Linus from his blanket. And even though his security blanket remains a major source of ridicule for the otherwise mature and thoughtful Linus, he simply refuses to give it up.
Until this moment. When he simply drops it.
In that climactic scene when Linus shares "what Christmas is all about," he drops his security blanket, and I am now convinced that this is intentional. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words, "fear not" (at :38 seconds).
The birth of Jesus separates us from our fears.
The birth of Jesus frees us from the habits we are unable (or unwilling) to break ourselves.
The birth of Jesus allows us to simply drop the false security we have been grasping so tightly, and learn to trust and cling to Him instead.
The world of 2015 can be a scary place, and most of us find ourselves grasping to something temporal for security, whatever that thing may be. Essentially, 2015 is a world in which it is very difficult for us to "fear not."
But in the midst of fear and insecurity, this simple cartoon image from 1965 continues to live on as an inspiration for us to seek true peace and true security in the one place it has always been and can always still be found."
This author is so right when he says 2016 is a scary place and whether our fears are real or imagined, they define who we are and who we become and oftentimes, even how we live.
What total bliss to be able to release those fears! But not only to release them, but be given in return the peace we so desperately seek. Even if our world is never at peace, we can be at peace in our souls. Only the birth of Jesus, his life, death and resurrection offers us that peace.
The angel says, "Fear not, for I bring you good news....." Good news, indeed! The best news any media outlet could ever give! And it's for all people! And what is this good news?
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."