Christmas Fears

Christmas Fears

by Sherry Chamblee

If you think about it, that first Christmas was terrifying. I mean, we want to impart a lot of magic and wonder to it, but look at it from the perspective of the time. So many scary, ugly, stressful things were an integral part of that first Christmas.

Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem because of taxes. Taxation from an oppressive government that forced them to uproot their entire families and travel to an ancestral home in order to be counted like cattle, and taxed like slaves.  

Then, in that ancestral home, they were outcasts to the point they were relegated to the stables. A very young mother, and she had to lay her newborn in a cattle’s feed bin.

The wise men saw Jesus’ star at least two years before they made it to Herod’s palace. And we think an hour-long drive to the in-laws is stressful. These men were on the road for close to two years…with no car, no A/C, no heater, no fast food restaurants along the way, no nice rest stops.  

And then when they made it to their destination, they were warned that they’d walked into a dangerous, life-threatening situation. Talk about annoying relatives.  

Not to mention the tragedy of Herod’s terrible targeting of the children of Bethlehem in response to what the wise men had told him.

Those shepherds on the hill that night, they were simple, quiet folk used to a simple farm life. Imagine their terror when a host of heavenly angels appeared in the night sky. They didn’t know those were angels at first. It would have changed their lives from that moment forward. This was anything but a quiet Christmas eve.

So many things were negative about that time. None of the people involved would have been blamed for not feeling festive. They had real reasons for fear, trepidation, anger, bitterness.

Yet Hope was born that day.

Love came from Heaven.

A gift beyond all others came to fruition. The only chance for humanity’s salvation was brought forth and declared for all to see… and we were invited to watch it unfold.

Hope, salvation, peace, love did not come from a safe place. They all came from a place of fear, strain, oppression, and burden. They grew like flowers blooming in a desert place… a bright spot in a pervasive darkness. There was no cultured, manicured garden.

So yes, Christmas came in a time of fear… but it did not stay there.

Mary and Joseph embarked on an epic journey that night, safeguarding the Christ-child. And I’m sure it was terrifying. These two were placed on this journey, not because they never feared, but because they didn’t let fear stop them. They let God overcome it.

The shepherd’s fear turned to wonder and rejoicing.  

The wise men’s strain turned to worship and hope.  

Joseph and Mary’s rejection from their own social circles turned into the greatest expression of acceptance into God’s family ever experienced.

The true message of Christmas? Is God’s answer to our fears.  

He takes those fears and into our willing hands places Hope, Joy, Wonder, Love. 

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at Or check out her books at

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