Changing My Focus – Advent 2012 – Day 3

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Advent 2012

So, I got home late last night from my church Christmas musical rehearsal (which is going to be AWESOME), and was too pooped to post.  🙂  Oh well.  What’s one more day behind!  At least I am caught up on the readings themselves. 🙂  Maybe a post a day was way too ambitious.  But I’m not going to worry about it.  The goal is to focus on Jesus, not whether or not I am going to have time to do a blog post.  So, I’m only going to worry about taking a few minutes each day to do the readings, then journal and meditate on them.  I’ll post when I can post.

Here’s day 3:

Rediscovering the Christmas Season – Day 3 – Terrified – Luke 2:1-20

Today’s reading focuses on the shepherds witnessing the angel messenger and the arrival of Jesus.

I can’t even begin to imagine what was going on in the minds of the shepherds when first one angel, then an entire host of angels, appeared and interrupted their probably quiet, boring night.  I probably would have passed out.  Or wet my pants.  You know how it feels when you are startled awake by a noise or something in the middle of the night – heart racing, knees shaking, gasping for air? I’m pretty sure it was something like that.  There’s a reason that an angel’s first words are usually “fear not!”

Once the angel began speaking, though, I can imagine that their terror quickly turned to awe and wonder.  They were the recipients of a message directly from God.  Them!  I imagine that was also followed by complete amazement and unrestrained joy as an entire sky full of angels began saying praises to God.

I also can’t help but think about how fitting it was for the Good Shepherd’s birth to first be announce to shepherds, and am also reminded that King David – who received God’s promise that his heir would sit on the throne forever – was a simple shepherd boy who was tending his father’s flocks in the field when Samuel came to announce and anoint him as God’s chosen king over Israel.

(Side note: I got this in my inbox today.  What another amazing co-inky-dink.)

Like the shepherds, God interrupted my life with an important message this summer.  It was something I had never experienced before, and may never experience again.  He sent a messenger – just a regular guy (maybe) to speak to me in the midst of wrestling with the most painful decision I’ve ever had to make in my life.  I was terrified at first, because this random stranger – and fairly odd – dude just walked up to me in a bookstore and told me that God wanted him to tell me something.

Then, as he started speaking words that directly pertained to my circumstances and what I was dealing with, I could not even begin to describe what I was feeling.  Fear and skepticism turned to shock then unbelievable relief and even joy because I knew – KNEW – that God saw me and had sent this person – who had absolutely no idea whatsoever about my circumstances – to speak specifically to me about what I was facing, encourage me, and give me strength to make the hard choice.
And whenever I start to doubt my choices, I can look back to that day – my Ebenezer – and know that I did what I had to do, and that God is not angry with me, but that He loves me, protects me, and watches over me.

Yahweh is my Shepherd.  There is nothing I lack.

I’m linking up with Thorns and Gold to share Advent/Christmas posts this month. 

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