Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to spend some time with family, friends and loved ones over the week. And maybe find some time to take a few moments to reflect on some of the things that the whole human family strives for. Love. Hope. Peace.
Whether you believe the Christmas story or not, in it you will find some universal truths.
Consider the shepherds.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.’”
First off, it’s pretty cool that the first people told about the birth of Jesus were shepherds. They were closer to the bottom of the social totem pole than the top. They were just common folk. It’s fascinating that the angels didn’t go to a king first. They didn’t head over to some fat-cat businessman’s place first. They didn’t seek out a powerful religious leader. Nope. The angel went to some shepherds. The lesson – everybody has value – not just the rich, the powerful and the well connected.
Now notice the first words out of the angels’ mouth – do not be not afraid.
The shepherds were terrified, and who could blame them? They were seeing a powerful creature floating in the sky that appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the night. It was unfamiliar and unknown. The unfamiliar and unknown scares us.
That is a powerful message for us today.
We run into a lot of fear as we go about our work here at the Tenth Amendment Center. When we talk about shutting off the water to the NSA data center in Utah, people say, “What if the feds send in troops?” When we talk about nullifying the TSA, people say “What if the feds shut down all of the airports?” When we talk about refusal to cooperate with violations of the Second Amendment, people say, “What if the feds cut off all our highway funding?” On and on it goes. What if this. What if that.
Fear leads to paralysis. Of course, that’s just what the enemies of freedom desire. They want you scared so you won’t do anything. And it seems to work, judging by all of the frightened doomsday emails and comments we see every day here at the Tenth Amendment Center.
Be. Not. Afraid.
The shepherds had a choice in that moment. They could cower. They could run. They could blow off the message as some late night lunacy. After all, what if they went to Bethlehem looking for this baby and never found it? What if people in town called them crazy? What if they they left their sheep and got fired? What if it wasn’t true? How would they deal with the disappointment?
But they chose to go. They didn’t let their terror or doubt stop them. They pressed on.
Their hope overcame their fear.
That’s what this season is really all about – hope. Hope moves us forward. Think about Joseph, staying with Mary even though he knew he didn’t get her pregnant. Think about Mary, trusting in the angel and believing its message. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Think of the wise men, following a star from a distant land.
They were all driven by hope. They believed the future would yield something better. And they acted accordingly.
We have a lot of hope here at the TAC. We have hope for a free society. We have hope in the power of the people, believing they can change things. We have hope for tomorrow, because we sincerely believe our strategies can work.
True. They might not. There are plenty of what-ifs. There are many forces gathered against us. There are many reasons to tremble.
We choose not to. We choose to listen to that timeless message.
On behalf of everyone here at the Tenth Amendment Center – Peace and liberty to you on this holiday season.