Luke 2:9-11 – “…the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened…the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (NASB)
A good illustration for the ‘glory of God shone around them’ would be swimming in the ocean and suddenly having a ten-thousand-pound killer whale swimming all around you. You’d be overcome by how fragile you are with the enormity of its size, speed, and power. You can’t outswim it, overcome it, or challenge it in any way. You’re completely at its mercy. When the Bible speaks of the glory of God, it is rooted in immense weightiness that demands respect.
When we read through the Christmas story in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew we find that ‘do not be afraid’ could be a legitimate substitution for ‘Merry Christmas.’ Understanding the glory of God, we understand the shepherds in Luke having ‘terrible fear.’ What makes for a Merry Christmas is this all-powerful, overwhelming presence, has become man, even in the form of a baby.
Do not fear! God is love. We do not have a God who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, He has come down to our level and has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). Everyone, I bring you good news of great joy, there has been born for YOU a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. He is Lord! All authority belongs to Jesus. He came to overcome the sin that has entangled our lives and because He has overcome, do not fear! You too can overcome.