The Hopes and Fears
Grant us that we… might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. Luke 1:74-75
When Phillips Brooks wrote the carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” he coined a phrase that sums up our emotions about Christmas: “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” It’s too beautiful a line to alter, but let’s remember that the hope of Jesus overcame the fears of all the years. Because of Jesus we can release our fears, anxieties, apprehensions, and nervous sorrows.
When you read through Luke’s Gospel, beginning with the Nativity, you keep running into the phrase, “Do not be afraid.” The angel said that to Zacharias in Luke 1:13, to Mary in Luke 1:30, and to the shepherds in Luke 2:10. Jesus later told Simon Peter in Luke 5:10: “Do not be afraid.” And He told a worried father named Jairus, “Do not be afraid; only believe” (Luke 8:50).
One of the most powerful prayers is found in Luke 1:76-79, when Zacharias prayed that God would enable us to serve Him without fear all the days of our lives. Whatever is bothering you today, don’t be afraid. Serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of your life.