Dec 17, 2019
You can find show notes for this episode at https://transformingmission.org/098
Imagine for a minute you’re one of the shepherds interrupted by an angel in the midst of your night shift caring for your sheep.
You receive a message that the Savior of the world has been born. But, before that ever registers, there’s a problem. You're terrified.
The phrase “they were terrified” means both fear and flight, as in running away. The shepherds may have run the other direction in terror-stricken flight. They could have tried to outrun the angels. They could have tried to outrun God.
They could have run away from the good news, instead, they ran toward it.
What if the scripture read, "Don’t run away, I’m here to share something good with you not bad."
Two times in one short passage we read something about fear.
It’s the same word. When the angels respond, “Don’t be afraid” and when we read about the shepherds being afraid. Any guesses on what the Greek word is?
phobeo - from which we get, phobia.
Yes, the question the shepherds seem to be posing is this: Are you running toward God or running away from God?
When the angels appear to the shepherds, they have to make a quick decision: Will you receive the message of “Do not be afraid. I have good news." Or, are you going to flee the scene in terror?
And neither one of those options is faithful, let alone courageous. But they both happen.