Words from the Heart for Sunday December 23rd, 2018
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.
Luke 2:8-9 (NIV)
There are not too many times in the Word when the sheer glory of God becomes visible to mere men. Isaiah is one who saw the throne and the glory of God. Now, shepherds in a field were about to experience the very same splendor of His glory. This glory marked the arrival of the Creator to the world He had made.
It was a rescue effort which caught the world’s attention and one Canadian diver was a part of it. B.C. diver Erik Brown was one of the international divers who helped with the rescue effort to bring 12 boys and their soccer coach out of a flooded cave in northern Thailand. “No one’s trained for this; I was terrified,” Brown said. He said zero visibility, the current and small cracks to fit through in the cave made the dive difficult.
We work really hard at making Christmas perfect. We decorate our homes, we cook an amazing meal, we plan many activities for family and friends. We work hard to ensure that every sight, sound and scent brings sweet memories and warm feelings. I am not a Grinch in any way, and I love the Advent and Christmas seasons, but we need to know that the first Christmas was anything but perfect. It was mostly challenging at best, and terrifying at worst. Listen to what Luke says in Luke 2:8-9: “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.” We have romanticized angels to the point of being ridiculous. Every time angels appear in the Bible, the human response is terror. Angels are representatives of the King of kings. They are powerful beings, so it shouldn’t be surprising that those who run into them are immediately terrified. This Christmas, put yourself in the shoes of all those who are a part of the story of Jesus birth. I suspect you will understand the story in a far different way.
These have been words from the heart.