“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.” [Luke 1:29-31]

The words “afraid” and “fear” appear 539 times in the NIV Bible, many of them preceded by “Do not”. Fear is a common human condition and is clearly important for self preservation. But it can so easily restrict us from far more than was intended. Yes, fear was created by God, along with everything else. Like everything else, though, it’s been hijacked by the Evil One and can become destructive and reductive if we allow it to become our master rather than our servant. Mary heard very alarming news and was understandably troubled. But the angel bearing the news told her not to fear. The confidence Mary took from this released her, not just to an outburst of praise, but the fulfilling of her calling – giving birth to the Saviour of the World.

Mary was greatly troubled … but the angel said …


Father God, You know our weakness and how easily we fall prey to fear, very often with no grounds except voices in our own head. Teach us to listen to Your voice and to walk boldly into Your plans, trusting in the security You give us. Amen.