Relief from all your fear – behold!

By Dave Henning / December 9, 2022

“The angel is saying: ‘You want relief from all your fear?  Behold!  Look at Christmas.  Look at what he did.’  And to the degree you behold it, grasp it, and treasure and ponder it in your heart, to that degree those fears will start to diminish.  Fear not!  Behold!” – Timothy Keller (emphasis author’s)

And the angel said to them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”- Luke 2:10 (KJV)

Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 6 of Hidden Christmas with the last three things we learn from the shepherds about responding to the promises of God.

2.  Make peace.  While we tend to think of peace in terms of prosperity and a trouble-free life, the Bible take a different stance.  As a result, the most fundamental and important peace = peace with God.  Thus, sans peace with God, there’s no peace on earth.  Therefore, Pastor Keller notes, Christmas means the increase of peace with God and between people.

3.  Fear not.  If we accept the ‘good tidings’ of Christmas, we should fear not.  However, the shepherds experienced terror before the angels.  Because the presence of the holy radically threatens human beings.  But the fear caused by our alienation from God can be dispelled for good.  We must behold!

4.  Behold!  Most significantly, Pastor Keller observes, a corresponding Greek word exists for the world behold in Luke’s text.  Even though most modern translations skip it.  Hence, the angel literally says not to fear, but to perceive.

“In conclusion, the author exhorts: Fear always haunts and then overwhelms you when you seek to save yourself, to earn your own sense of worth, and to construct your own identity. . . .  The claim of Christmas is [that] . . . God did not merely write us ‘information’ about himself; he wrote himself into the drama of history.  He came into our world as Jesus Christ to save us, to die for us.”

Today’s question: What Scriptures bring relief from all your fear?  Behold – and please share!

Tomorrow’s blog: “The manger at Christmas”

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Dave Henning

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