On top of my Christmas tree is an angel.  Not just any angel.  A porcelain Lenox Angel with fine detail and fragile out spread wings- you can see her individual feathers.    The angel that now sits atop my family’s tree was a gift.  It was given to me because I was afraid. 

     August 1991 – I was three months out of college and still had yet to find a job.  Well- that’s not exactly true- I had yet to find a job with my human services degree that paid enough for me to survive and make the payments on my student loans that would be kicking in shortly.  I was beginning to panic.   And my mother took me away for the day to Kittery Maine and in the lenox outlet – she found this angel and she bought it for me.    Fear Not- said the angel for I bring you tidings of great joy.   Fear not- said my mother- it will be okay.

     December 2011- The economy is distressed.  The level of anxiety in the world can’t get any higher.  People are struggling to make ends meet – depression threatens to over run our lives.   The darkness seems to be never ending.   And into the deep despair- we hear the whispered words, “Fear not.”

     With our little nativity sets on the shelf so lovely and clean - we often forget that the real story is one of danger, pain and filth. The trip to Bethlehem was risky.  Mary labored among animals- the smell and the muck.  Jesus was born essentially homeless.  So our creche sets that we view as a pretty, safe and cozy scene is actually a reminder that no matter how desperate the situation - God is with us.  

     "Fear not," said the angel, "For to you is born a savior, who is Christ, the Lord." 

                           Fear not.  Alleluia and Amen.