Listen to the news these days and you’ll hear a common theme: Americans are afraid. We’re afraid another Paris or San Bernardino terror attack is coming to a neighborhood near us. So Christmas comes at a good time this year. One of the messages repeated over and over in the Christmas narratives is this: “Don’t be afraid.” The angel said this to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds: “Don’t be afraid.” I’m pretty sure the angel is saying the same thing to us in this season: “Don’t be afraid. That baby born to you in Bethlehem is named God-with-us.” Christmas reminds us that God has His hands on the wheel of history. Nothing happens that catches God by surprise. Nothing happens that God can’t redeem. And nothing happens to God’s people that can hurt us forever. The coming of Jesus brought heaven to earth. And “if we die before we wake” Jesus will take us from earth to heaven. English poet John Donne said it best: “Fear God or fear everything else.” So here’s the sixth of The Twelve Thoughts of Christmas—don’t be afraid; God is with us and always will be.