20 December 2018
When the angel visited Mary with the unexpected news that she was going to be the mother of Jesus, he said,‘Do not be afraid!’ When he appeared to Joseph in a dream, he said, ‘Do not be afraid!’ When the angel visited the shepherds, he said, ‘Do not be afraid!’
Throughout the Bible, God’spresence is punctuated with the words, ‘Do not be afraid!’ God says to Abraham,‘Do not be afraid. I will shield you from danger!’ And to Gideon, ‘Do not be afraid, you will not die!’ And to Isaiah and the exiles, ‘Do not be afraid. I will save you!’
In his presence, they all sense what one theologian described as the ‘mysterium tremendum’ – the tremendous mystery surrounding God which produces a sense of fear whenever the mystery is disclosed.
Like Moses standing before the burning bush or Jacob at the foot of the ladder stretching up from earth to heaven, we sense that we are standing on holy ground and we are filled with awe!