Summary: A Christmas sermon.
“DO NOT BE AFRAID”
By Reverend Kenneth Sauer, Pastor, Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News,
George W. Truett, one of the great preachers of the first half of the twentieth century,
said that his experience with people led him to preach on the theme of fear again and again.
And why is this?
Because fear is very much a part of our lives. Maybe you’re afraid of losing your job, or
your health, or losing your finances. Maybe you’re afraid of not being accepted by others. Or
maybe you’re just afraid of growing old. The list could go on and on, because all of us have
things that cause us to experience the emotion we call ‘fear’.
When I was working in the television business, a friend of mine told me, “You know
Ken, when I was a child I used to be afraid to go to sleep because I would have these terrible
nightmares. Now the nightmares begin when I wake-up.”
Unfortunately, I’m afraid that many of us can relate to this sad statement.
So what is it that causes all this fear?
I think that ultimately it is the fact that we are living in a fallen world.
Fear entered the world at the same time that sin entered the world.
When Adam and Eve ate the fruit off the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they hid
They hid because they were afraid.
For the first time human kind felt that horrible sensation that we all know as fear.
And ever since, fear has been surrounding us, paralyzing us, and often overcoming us.
So, is there any remedy for fear?
Do we have any chance at getting this demon off our back?
Often, people will try to get rid of their fear by turning to alcohol, drugs, and violence.
But in the end, these things only lead to more fear and more problems.
Some of us try to solve our battles with fear by making money. But this only results in
more fear as we become afraid that we will lose this money, or that Mr. Jones across the street
has more money than we do, and therefore we must compete with Mr. Jones out of fear.
The only remedy to conquering fear comes from God!
Before the Fall, there was no fear in the garden of Eden, there was no separation from
God, there was no reason to be afraid.
So in order to conquer fear, we must regain that relationship that we were created to have
with our Creator.
And on this Christmas Eve we have come to celebrate the birth of the One who came into
this world in order to re-establish that relationship.
The angel spoke to the shepherds on the night that Jesus was born and said, “Do not be
afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of
David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
The message of Christmas is that if Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, we do not need
to be afraid.
Because God is not a God of fear--God is a God of peace and perfect love.
And as the Bible says in 1st John, “Perfect love drives out fear.”
So the closer we get to the love of God, the farther we get from fear.
And the way that we get close to God is through faith in Christ Jesus.
As the Bible says, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the
man Christ Jesus.”
What does this mean in practical terms?
Well, for one thing, it means that our security is in our faith in God, not in the things of
Security is not about safety, it is about faith and courage.
There are many people in our culture who live in great safety and prosperity, yet their
lives are consumed by worry and fear.
On the other hand, there are people in this world who live in very difficult and dangerous
places but they have security, because they are full of faith and hope.
We want to be safe, but it is more important for us to be secure in our faith and to find
our courage in God.
The Bible says, “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be
shaken but endures forever.”
Security is not the absence of trouble, but it is the confidence and courage in the midst
And this confidence and dcourage comes from our faith.
The angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid.”
What a wonderful and beautiful and magnificent statement!
Do not be afraid!
God does not want us to be afraid.