My thoughts wander in all directions in these early hours. This morning I’m thinking about how the media is continually saying that we, or at least a segment of the American people, are angry. Have you heard that over and over again? People are angry, the pundits say, with the government, with the economy, angry about everything. Where does this anger come from? I think it comes from fear—a deep-seated fear—more individual than it is societal. People are angry because they fear there isn’t enough to go around, that any change in the way things are is a catastrophe because it will deprive them of their position, power and control, that it will take away what they have. They are afraid of going forward and therefore want to go back to some imagined greatness that never really was. Anger, rooted in fear, is extremely dangerous because the tendency is to project that anger and fear (rather than deal with it as our own problem) on to something else or on to some other group of people. Fear breeds new enemies.
Fear is dangerous, it restricts life, and leads us astray from who we really are. “Fear not.” How many times does Jesus say this when greeting a friend? How many times are the words, “Be not afraid” repeated in the angelic announcements in the Christmas narrative? “Why are you so anxious (worried, concerned, apprehensive, fearful?…,” Jesus asked. Look at the birds, consider the lily…”You are worth more than the birds!” Love casts out fear.
The Christmas message is that Love (God) is at the heart of all things. God is the source of all that is. God is constantly bringing into being that which was not, that which is new. The flow of God’s love is limitless and will never give out. You don’t have to hoard your resources. You can be lavish and prodigal. There is enough to go around—more than enough. You can’t exhaust it. There is a superabundance of love and caring. This is a friendly world. It may be difficult learning how to touch that current of God’s love, how to get into that stream, to be carried by it, but one thing is certain, in my mind, the stream is there. And it is limitless. Do not be afraid.