Larry, noticed something new the last time he watched the Peanuts Christmas show. When Linus read the exclamation of the angel, “Fear not!” he dropped his blanket.
Fear is traced back to the Garden of Eden when the entire human race hid from God because as Adam, said, “I was afraid.” “I was naked.” Ever since that day, all the descendants of Adam and Eve have a sense of their nakedness in the presence of God.
Sarah laughed at God’s promise that that she and Abraham would have a child within a year and then denied her laughter, “Because she was afraid.” God had already begun to assure Abraham, “Fear not.” In 15:1 God says, “I am your shield.” When Hagar and her son, Ishmael, by Abraham were banished to the desert, God tells Hagar, “”Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy…”
Eventually, Moses tells Israel, “Fear not.” “Fear not” and “don’t be afraid” becomes a refrain throughout the Old Testament. In Isaiah 40 and 41 we read, “Fear not herald of good tidings; Fear not for I am with you; Fear not for I am the one who helps you; Fear not, you worm Jacob…your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.”
And when God intends to take on human flesh, Zechariah is to “not be afraid,” He and Elizabeth’s prayers for a child will be answered in the birth of John (the Baptist). The angel assures Mary she need not fear, “for you have found favor with God.” She will bear a son “and you shall call his name Jesus.” Joseph shouldn’t fear to marry Mary. The child in her womb “will save his people from their sins.”
Then comes that announcement to fear filled shepherds, “Fear not.” “Unto you is born…a Savior, Christ the Lord.”
We can drop all our security blankets and stand naked before our God, from whom we will receive mercy, salvation and redemption in the forgiveness of all our sins.