“Do not be afraid” the angel sang, “Do not be afraid” the hilltops rang.
Round about was filled with glory, drawing them into the story
Saying “Do not be afraid, do not be afraid.”
“Do not be afraid,” they sing today. “Do not be afraid,” oh hear them say.
For the world is turning onwards, God has got his hands upon us Saying, “Do not be afraid, Do not be afraid.”
“Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified.” Luke 2:9

Sheila Cassidy writes in the book: Confessions of a Lapsed Catholic – “Christian society in Britain has domesticated the Gospel. It is geared to loving God in moderation. We may give alms to the poor, visit the sick and the lonely, hold annual bazaars and flag days for those in need – in fact do any good works that do not threaten the pattern of our society. But to demand justice at the expense of people’s comfort or security – that makes us troublemakers.”

Well, you can decide for yourself whether or not you think she’s right. But we have domesticated our thoughts about angels. We make cutesy little figurines, we put on annual plays in which tiny little four year olds in white pillow cases with a sprinkling of silver tinsel stand before the congregations and proclaim with varying levels of confidence “You don’t need to be afraid.” No, of course I don’t need to be afraid! You are a third of my height, you weigh a tenth of what I weigh, if you do something I don’t like, I merely have to pick you up to stop you doing it – why on earth would l be afraid?
But the shepherds were afraid. The messengers of God inspire awe and the glory of God is both fearful and wonderful. Let us stand for one moment today and allow ourselves to feel the fear that we would feel if that angel stood before us and we, with no knowledge of how the story was to unfold, felt the glory of God around us.

Have a wonderful Christmas.
God bless, Vicci

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