The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas: Do Not Be Afraid: The Five Minute Response

As the ghosts said to Scrooge, my time is short. My message must be brief. 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. Wishing all who celebrate another deeply meaningful faith tradition the blessings of the day for you. 

The message I have to share this Christmas morning before the family arises is simple. It came in Luke chapter 2, verses 8 through 11, from an angel to shepherds (social outcasts of Israel's world of 2000+ years ago). It reads: 

8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 

Messengers from God often began with that brief warning: Do not be afraid. It might be comical, given how often they felt they had to start that way, if it were not so important. You see the results of people being afraid all over this struggling world of ours. When we are afraid, we demonize people who are different from ourselves. We speak of them as if they were brute beasts. When we, in fear, come to think of them as less-than-human, we free ourselves to do terrible things to them as we are now free to believe the worst of them. Genocide and terror are the evil spawn of that fearful mindset. I was grieved to see an interview with followers of a candidate I will not name. These people were so fear soaked, they would believe any outrageous thing about others. Violence will ensue, and already has, even at this candidate's rallies. 

This Christmas, follow the admonition of the angel and the angelic host (by the way that can be interpreted as God's army ... an army calling for peace on earth and delivering the best of news, transformative to all humanity in its open invitation to all of humanity. Let's all work for peace, work for justice, and strive hard for an end to fear, which is truly the root of so much evil in our world. 

Have a wonderful, blessed, beautiful, fear free holiday and a productive year pushing back against fear in all its forms. This Christian is calling all humans of all faith traditions to this cause. When Christmas rolls around again in 2016, let's see how much closer we can be to loving each other without fear and the hatred it breeds.

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