“Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days…” (Lk 1: 72-75)
This prophecy, spoken by Zacharia after the birth of his son, St. John the Baptist, mentions us serving God “without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him.” What kind of “fear” is Zacharia talking about? The kind that is an obstacle to “holiness and righteousness before Him,” before God.
The non-holy and non-righteous kind of fear usually involves: 1. Fear of people and their opinions, and/or 2. Fear of economic insecurity. If I pay attention, I find that most “sins,” most misdirections of my will, are somehow connected to these fears and related ones, like fear of rejection, failure, or even of success. So my cross-carrying journey to “holiness” and “righteousness,” – that is to say, my “salvation,” consists largely of letting go of these bad kinds of fear, and replacing them with faith.
Today let me renew my prayerful contact with Him, Who came and served without fear, even unto death, a death on the Cross, that we “might serve Him without fear.” Let me let His grace remove any crippling, un-holy and un-righteous fears today, and move forward with Him and in Him. “The Lord is my light and my saviour,” I say today, as so many have said before, “whom then shall I fear?” (Ps 26/27: 1)