Fear paralyzes. It catches us off guard. Fear seeks to write a story that robs us of hope and joy. This is why God so often reminds us, “Don’t be afraid.” That first Christmas, shepherds were awestruck at the angelic announcement of a Savior. But they were also terrified. Like the shepherds, we’re prone to fear especially when we have good reason to be afraid. But God is fond of replacing our fear with joy and the reassurance of His great love.
Can you recall times when you were most afraid? What were the circumstances surrounding your fear? How would you define “fear?”
Read Luke 2:8-14. What happened when an angel appeared to the shepherds? What are angels and what is their role?
The Christmas story is about God coming to earth in the person of Jesus. Read 2 Corinthians 8:9 and 1 Timothy 3:16. What do you find awe inspiring about these deep truths?
While fear can be debilitating it can also be liberating when directed toward God. What is the “fear of the Lord?” Reflect on the following passages for insights: Psalm 31:19, 115:13, Proverbs 9:10, 19:23, 28:14.
The antidote for fear is love. Read 1 John 4:18. How does love conquer fear? Can you think of a time when God’s love or the love of another person helped you defeat fear in your life?
Do you have any personal or family traditions for the Christmas season? What are they? What changes can you make this Christmas to help create a more meaningful holiday experience?