Nativity of the Lord ~ "Do Not Be Afraid" ~ Rev. Benjamin Roberts, DMin
Do not be afraid.
Those were the words of the Angel: Do not be afraid. People had been afraid of God for generations. They had been afraid of justice. They had been afraid of punishment. They had been afraid even, that the reality of the living God would call them to a life that was greater than they could imagine.
Do not be afraid, said the Angel. Do not be afraid.
Our God did not come to us in power. It was not a violent conquest. He appeared, and the soul felt its worth. He appeared, and he took possession of his creation. The Word of the Father, through whom all things were created, comes to us in utter humility. Not in strength do we meet him, but in weakness. Not in power do we see him, but held in the arms of his mother. There is no need to be afraid. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is a baby. We cannot fear him. We can only fall in love with him.
It is the overwhelming and unimaginable love of God the Father and the loving response of the Virgin Mother that brings the Lord Jesus to us. He is the child that was promised and the Redeemer that will save us. He will reveal to us the eternal will of the Eternal God. He will teach us what it means to truly love. He will invite us to the Kingdom of his Father, to the table with his apostles, to the mountain for his teaching. And tonight he invites us to the manger where he is safely sleeping.
We meet this baby and we are conquered by love. We meet this baby and our fear fades away, at least for a little while. For in the captivating face of this baby, we gaze upon the face of the invisible God. In the captivating face of this baby, we gaze upon the face of him in whose image we were created. In this captivating face of this baby, we fall passionately in love with the God who is passionately in love with us. There is no need to be afraid. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is a baby. We cannot fear him. We can only fall in love with him.
And this baby will make room in our hearts, just as he made room in the manger. There was no room in the inn for him to be born. Yet after the birth of the Lord Jesus, there was room for the shepherds. In the mystery of divine love, at an inn that was overcrowded, the whole world now comes to worship. The Lord Jesus brought the love of heaven to earth and made room on earth for the love of heaven. He made room in the manger. He makes room in our hearts. There is no need to be afraid.
O Come let us adore him. Amen.