This blog’s focus is God’s care that nourishes and strengthens through times of joy and times of challenge. He wants all of his creation to sing knowing that, ultimately, He desires that we trust him.
Some postings are my devotionals for Rest Ministries, an online Christian site for those facing challenges. Others are are new writings I feel inspired to share with you.
I pray that as you join me, you will find reasons to sing along.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Let Light Dispel the Darkness
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood.
They had set night watches over their sheep.
Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them.
They were terrified.
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide:
A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master.
This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger”
(Luke 2:8-12 - The Message).
Imagine that special night. Sheep were sedate from a full day of following their shepherds and ready for rest, as were the shepherds. The night was clear except for one brilliant star.
All was still.
a burst of light
an angel speaking
glory outshining that brilliant star
and they were terrified.
Some translations record that they were sore afraid. Now that is mighty scared, scared to one’s innermost being. It is a surge of fear.
A few verses later Luke records,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Why was this unexpected honor given to the shepherds? The work of shepherds was not a job of high profile. They lived solitary lives caring for their flocks. Yet God saw their faithfulness and chose to honor them. His favor rested upon them.
How can these thoughts be of help to any of us when the unexpected happens in our lives? We feel far from favored. We often feel solitary and set apart. We tire before day’s end. We expect too much of ourselves, often feeling we have disappointed our Shepherd.
Yet he knows each one of us. He knows the longings of our hearts and the times we are sore afraid. He knows something else.
Light, his light, always dispels the darkness.
How long did the shepherds stay terrified? Once the light and the message being heralded became real to them, they rushed off to Bethlehem. They found the Messiah, yet a babe in swaddling clothes. Then they were proclaiming, to all who would listen, the wonders of what they had seen and heard.
The stars in heaven still sing the same glory.
The favor of the Shepherd rests upon us.
We can spread his good news to those we encounter, even during our hardest moments, because light dispels the darkness. Yes, it did long ago, and yes, it still does today.
Lord, in unexpected places, open my eyes to behold your glories. However you choose, help me to rush to a Bethlehem near me, proclaiming as I go, the wonders you have displayed. Amen.
Look to and follow the Star in the night for that is when it can shine the brightest!
Click on the link below to hear this encouragement in song!