Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Something New!

“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.”

Luke 2:8-15

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!”

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

In the Waiting!

(Today I attended my writers group Christmas party and my friend Kay Day read this devotion. It is so beautiful and I asked her if I could share it with you. Enjoy. Check out Kay’s blog at )

This is Kay Day. If you knew her, you'd like her. :0)

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23

Advent. A time of eager and joyful expectation. Right?

But not then. Not for them.

They were weary. Living under the ungodly, oppressive government of Rome and the greedy, bloodthirsty rule of the Tetrarchs, they were over-taxed, over-burdened, abused, and frightened.

Religion was no help. If anything, the merciless legalism of the times made things worse.

And they’d been waiting a long time.

Waiting for an end to their suffering.

They’d heard of a deliverer, but where was He? Where was this promised Messiah? Where was God?

I’ve heard that Mary was the most common name for girls at the time. We do see several in the Gospels, so it could be true.

The name means Bitter.

Weary of waiting. Desperately waiting. Waiting for release from the bitterness of life. It seems they’d lost hope.

We’ve all been there. When one wait ends, another begins.

Life is waiting.

We wait for a son to return home to those he’s turned his back on.

For a loved one to know the Lord.

For a friend to be healed.

A child or spouse to come home from war.

A job—financial security.

A restored relationship.

A healed marriage.


For someone to abandon an addiction.


An e-mail from an agent.

Confirmation that we’re doing what we are supposed to be doing.

Always waiting and we are weary. We are desperate. Desperate for hope. For God to step in and show Himself.

Two thousand years ago God took on strands of DNA and became a tiny human in the womb of a girl named Bitter.

And His name was Emmanuel. God with us.

God stepped into the weary desperation.

He didn’t remove their suffering. Rome still ruled. The religious leaders were still unforgiving. Life was still hard.

He didn’t come to relieve their suffering. He came to walk with them in the midst of it.

We need not grow weary in the waiting because He’s here. We’re not waiting for Him to show up. He’s already here—inside us.

And those things we want, those things we watch for, they are good things, but the best thing, the best thing is God With Us.

I’ve looked back into my waiting and seen where God has been. Right there in the moments when it seems I’d lost hope. If God offered to answer all my prayers, solve all my problems right now, I wouldn’t do it if it meant losing those glimpses of His love.

Look deeply into your waiting and see Him. See where He’s been and how He’s touched you. Together let’s remember, no matter how discouraging or bitter life gets, let’s remember Emmanuel.