Luke 2:13-14

At first, one of the baby angels hid behind her mother. Her older sisters were laughing and admiring one another’s wings, but this particular angel was nervous, brow furrowed; skeptical.

A new angel family arrived, bringing more commotion and excitement, dancing and singing; waving of golden star wands and tousling of halos. But the first angel stood to the side, eyes cast downward, gripping her mother’s hand.

This little band of angel children had gathered for a photo shoot for this year’s Advent sermon series, Joy to the World. But the one who wasn’t very joyful tugged at my heart.

Do you think any of the angels from the Luke 2 story felt this way? A little nervous, anxious maybe? I mean, here they were, with really big news for the shepherds, who themselves were freaking out. There was a lot of fear to go around. Earlier in this passage the head angel actually commands them all, “Do not be afraid…”

Sometimes, our fear gets in the way of our joy. Like our anxious angel, I often find myself fretting and worrying instead of embracing the moment.

Maybe the angels in Luke have a message for more than those shepherds. Maybe they arrived on a quiet, dark night in a burst of golden light to tell us all not to be afraid, that God is here and will be with us, even when we are scared. Even when joy seems distant.

In the end, our little angel overcame her fears and posed with her sisters, and I hope their shining faces have delighted you this advent season.

God be with us in our joy and in our fears. Amen.