“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. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
The last week of November I prayed this Advent prayer: “Lord, as I wait on You, show me something new."
Sometimes the arrogance of being a long-time Christian attacks in December. Another Christmas. Been there. Done that. Bought the t-shirt.
So I asked for something new. Anything. A feeling, an insight, a moment. Just something new, or as my sis would pray, “More, Lord.”
As I was hanging out with Jesus the other day, I thought about Luke 2 and specifically the shepherds.
I imagined myself as a shepherd, hanging out with the sheep one night. Another day, another shekel. It’s cold, but the night is clear.
And then…I am waylaid with shock as an angel appears before me in the sky. I stand up and grab my shepherd’s staff. I tremble and adrenalin starts to race.
The angel tells us not to be afraid. His news is a GOOD thing. I believe. It’s an unbelievable moment but I believe.
Fear turns to excitement.
This is new.
This is wild.
And then the sky fills up. Angels are everywhere singing. Four part harmony graces the air. The basses have a short solo that makes me smile and the sopranos hit a high note that causes me to shake my head. They can sing.
I tap my toe along with my shepherd’s staff.
Fear that turned to excitement is now joy.
This is new.
This is wild.
This is great!
They only sing one song. And then they disappear.
Immediately someone yells, “Let’s go!”
We get our stuff together quick. I can’t wait to see the Messiah.
I am not a shepherd. I’m a 49-year-old American woman in 2011. But as I walked Scooby and Thor last night I looked up. It was cold and clear.
No angel appeared. No heavenly choir. No fear and no excitement.
But joy happened because He showed me something new. He showed me that He always longs for the moments we look up and are open to something new be it an insight or feeling.
A moment when you or I are open to falling in love with our Lord a little bit more. Like when I watched John with our granddaughter this past weekend. Nothing exciting, but as I watched I fell in love a little bit more with my man.
The New Year is coming – 2012.
My prayer for you and for me is that we will look up and be open to a new gift, calling, relationship or adventure. Whatever God puts in front of us.
And like the shepherds, I pray our reaction is simple. “Let’s go!”