“Do not be afraid” is God’s constant refrain, beginning with scripture’s earliest stories in Genesis and continuing until the Bible closes in Revelation: “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last” (Rev. 1:17). God’s empowering litany gives merciful courage to Joseph in a dream and to shepherds in the fields. It is found in the miracle of Bethlehem, the merciful Word born in Emmanuel, God with us. Do not be afraid.
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