Summary: The Message of the Angel - ’Do Not Be Afraid’. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
1. The "Do not be afraid" of the impossible. (Luke 1:13).
2. The "Do not be afraid" of unanswered prayer: (Luke 1: 30).
3. The "Do not be afraid of salvation. (Luke 2:10-11).
4. The "Do not be afraid" of obedience. (Matthew 1:20).
• Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported that 30 years ago,
• The greatest fears of grade school children were:
• (1) Animals, (2) Being in a dark room, (3) High places, (4) Strangers, (5) Loud noises.
• A more recent report suggested that today the fears of children were:
• (1) Divorce, (2) War, (3) Cancer, (4) Pollution, (5) Being mugged.
• I like the story of the man who could not sleep;
• He was convinced that there was somebody at night under his bed;
• And this fear kept him from sleeping.
• He tried all sort of pills & tablets but none of them worked;
• He went for psychiatric help but again that failed him.
• One night in a pub the bloke next to him gave him the perfect solution;
• He said; “Why don’t you cut the legs off the bed?”
• Problem solved!
Fear is something we all have or will at times experience:
• Most of us experience it in mild form,
• Some folks experience it in extreme forms.
• Peladophobia: fear of baldness and bald people.
• Aerophobia: fear of drafts.
• Porphyrophobia: fear of the colour purple.
• Chaetophobia: fear of hairy people.
• Levophobia: fear of objects on the left side of the body.
• Dextrophobia: fear of objects on the right side of the body.
• Calyprophobia: fear of obscure meanings.
• Thalassophobia: fear of being seated.
• Stabisbasiphobia: fear of standing and walking.
• Odontophobia: fear of teeth.
• Graphophobia: fear of writing in public.
• Phobophobia: fear of being afraid.
• ill: Joke: Fear: What do you call an irrational fear of Santa Claus?
• Answer: Claustrophobia.
Well we might not have extreme fears & phobias;
• But we all have concerns, worries, anxieties & uncertainties
• i.e. Fear of losing their jobs, old age, health, wealth,
• i.e. Fear of being found out – exposed! Fear of facing an uncertain future.
In the Christmas narrative on 4 occasions we read the words:
• “Do not fear” (N.I.V.) or;
• Or "fear not." (K.J.B.).
• I want us to look at them this morning.
(1). The " Do not fear " of the impossible,
(Luke ch 1 vs 29-38).
“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
30 But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God.
31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.
33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; his kingdom will never end.
34 How will this be, Mary asked the angel, since I am a virgin?
35 The angel answered, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.
37 For nothing is impossible with God.”
38 I am the Lord’s servant, Mary answered. May it be to me as you have said. Then the angel left her.
• How do you handle impossible situations?
• A police exam paper read:
• You are on patrol in outer London;
• When an explosion occurs in a gas main in a nearby street.
• On investigation you find that a large hole has been blown in the footpath;
• And there is an overturned van lying nearby.
• Inside the van there is a strong smell of alcohol.
• Both occupants—a man and a woman—are injured.
• You recognise the woman as the wife of your Divisional Inspector,
• Who is at present away in the USA.
• A passing motorist stops to offer you assistance;
• And you realise that he is a man who is wanted for armed robbery.
• Suddenly a man runs out of a nearby house,
• Shouting that his wife is expecting a baby;
• And that the shock of the explosion has made the birth imminent.
• Another man is crying for help, having been blown into an adjacent canal by the explosion,
• And he cannot swim.
• Bearing in mind the provisions of the Mental Health Act,
• describe in a few words what actions you would take.