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Perspective: A Tradition Shines In Dark Times


It’s Christmas Eve and my thoughts turn to tradition. December holds many cultural traditions that bring our lives meaning. My tradition comes from the Christmas Story.

When my children were young, we read the story about the shepherds. An angel visited the shepherds and said, “Do not be afraid.” What a strange thing for an angel to say.

Throughout the Christmas story, angels visit Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds. Each time, their first words are “Do not be afraid.” It‘s important, my kids thought, because it’s repeated. Perhaps we have missed something important.

When people say, “Do not be afraid” during dark times, do they somehow bring the grace the Christmas angels brought? Are they angels even though they are human? Have they come to help in a time of need?

Maybe that’s all it takes.

Tonight, I will hear the story again, my children will look at me and smile when we hear about the shepherds and angels. And I will think of all those angels in my life, and the times I’ve unknowingly been an angel to others.

It’s a tradition -- and a powerful one. We can all be angels just by saying a few words, reminding others, “do not be afraid.”

Merry Christmas. I’m Elsa Glover and that’s my perspective.

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