A conversation on a walk with my daughter this afternoon:
“Mary and Joseph were living together in Nazareth. And then they went to Bethlehem.”
“Why – no, first tell me: who came to visit Mary?”
“The Angel. Gabriel.”
“And what did he tell her?”
“Do not be afraid.”
Not the answer I was expecting! I thought my girlie-girl would focus in on the coming of a baby. What is more important – that she wasn’t afraid or that she would have a baby?
Obviously, given Christians believe him to the Son of God and Saviour of the World, the birth of Jesus is the most important thing about Christmas. But for a young girl (probably not much older than my daughter) the first message from God is not to be afraid.
As we approach Christmas – with all its fuss and frantic shopping, all its food and preparations, all its stress and family arguments – perhaps we should consider the Angel’s message not to be afraid. God’s gift is a great and joyful event for everybody, worldwide. And that is the purpose of Christmas, far more important than all the paraphernalia that goes with it.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.