In the Bible, God--or sometimes God's messenger--often implores freaked-out men and women not to be afraid. It's a standard divine greeting, a nicety to allay the pulse-quickening shock of receiving a message from heaven. Frequently the commandment stands alone: Fear not, period. Sometimes it's stitched to an object or person: Do not be afraid of _____.
Advent | Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year A)
Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
by James AlisonDecember 11, 2007
My extended family once had so many males named Frederick that the women in the family assigned each of us a number so the tribe could distinguish between us at family reunions. I became Fred IV. A casual observer might have thought that we considered ourselves royalty, or perhaps a line of renegade popes.