In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
When I think of my Christmas story, I am not usually terrified as the scripture describes the shepherds. Sometimes I think... busy... exhausted... often homesick... usually broke... followed then with frustrated... sometimes peaceful, occasionally inspired... frequently overindulgent (food, drink, toys)... but never terrified that I can remember.
Last night I saw a picture of my two little nieces who live in Alaska, the older one smiling cheekily, the younger one screaming in sheer terror, sitting on the lap of that modern day Christmas angel, the department store Santa Claus. I studied the precious little girl's face, one I only know from photos, because she was born just after her daddy was stationed up in Kodiak two years ago. I recognized the terror in her eyes as like that of the group of shepherds who were just watching their sheep, when something unexpected, and frankly unwanted occurred in their lives. This intrusion of the eternal into our day-to-day lives; when God comes to walk among us as one of us, nothing is ever the same again. But we seem to be so terrified that we just can't hear the good news: Don't be afraid! For unto us is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
Yet and still, maybe we should be terrified, just a bit. Like every mama and daddy of a newborn baby knows, life will never be the same. And when God gets right here with us, and tells us the real truth, we better be ready for our lives to be turned upside down. For this Christmas, and every day, our challenge is to not be afraid, to seek the baby in Bethlehem, to know him, accept him, to learn to let him lead us, and follow him all the way to the cross.
JESUS, LORD, TEACH ME, LEAD ME, LOVE ME. SHOW ME THE WAY TO GROW INTO A MATURE ADULT CHRISTIAN, READY TO WALK ALL THE WAY FROM BETHLEHEM TO THE CROSS. ON THE JOURNEY, GUIDE ME FROM ANYTHING THAT IS NOT PLEASING TO YOU, AND MAKE ME OVER IN YOUR IMAGE. BRING YOUR PEACE INTO THE WORLD, AND MAY IT BE YOUR WILL TO LET IT BEGIN WITH ME. AMEN.
shared by Rose Anne