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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'Be not afraid'

Trust that the Vulnerable Child will ead us through terror to new peacefulness

"Be not afraid," said the angel to shepherds frightened by a disturbance of light in the sky. "The news is good. The Savior Christ is born."

We hear those words now with ears tuned to the sounds of terror. Light in a dark sky promises war instead of joy. As a nation, we've mourned the loss of people and of innocence. Expectations of invulnerability have diminished as well. We have new awareness that our world is dangerous. Uncertainty is in the air.

Nevertheless, most people still work, worship, walk the dog, talk to their neighbors, buy groceries, go to the movies and read their mail. For others, images of random acts of terror have turned homes into bunkers and backyard fences into prison walls. For them, "be not afraid" seems like an unrealistic word of assurance that avoids the terror of this time. The common responses to danger — fight, flight or freeze — are visible in daily commerce.


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