“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.” Luke 2:10 (NRSV)
Change is scary. For many, the New Year brings a great deal of fear of the unknown. Fortunately, we are not the first to be afraid. The phrase “do not be afraid” occurs 59 times in the Bible. This includes three different instances in the Christmas story alone as angels appeared to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds, all bringing great news to the hearer. Even with joyful news, the people of God were afraid. More often than not this phrase was followed by the reassurance that God was with them – Emmanuel.
I don’t know about you, but just remembering that God is with me, even when things are scary, is a great comfort. When I remember that I am not alone and that there is someone there beside me to help when times get tough, I am left with a sense of calm and strength that helps me through tough times.
God is always with us and never leaves us, especially when times are the toughest. As we enter into a new year and start to make our “New Year’s Resolutions,” let us keep in mind that no matter how scary things seem at times, or how many changes come, God tells us “Do not be afraid” because our Emmanuel has everything under control. That is good news indeed.
Wonderful Counselor, Guide us through the scary times in our lives. Show yourself to us and remind us that there is no need to be afraid because you are with us always. Thank you for never leaving us alone. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.