Tag Archives: Shepherds

David #adventbookclub

Luke 2:8-17 (CEV)

The Shepherds

That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. 10 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. 11 This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12 You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”

13 Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said:

14 “Praise God in heaven!
Peace on earth to everyone
who pleases God.”

15 After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.” 16 They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay.

17 When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him.

 What a night!  It seemed such an ordinary night.  There we were, doing what we always do, caring for the sheep.  Then all of a sudden, this bright light.  Blinding it was, terrifying.  I thought the world was ended, that the moon was on fire or falling to earth, or, or… Who knows what was happening.  Then, this voice. Light speaking into the darkness of the night,

Do not be afraid

Good news!  Good job as I was scared half to death.

But he’d come to tell us that our saviour had been born.  Not just ours, but for everyone.  Light born into the darkness.

Then there were more angels, a proper party of praise, promising peace.

When they had gone, we had to go and see.  If this was true, this is a game-changer, a life-changer, a world-changer…

God is here amongst us.  Nothing will ever be the same again.

Into the ordinariness of life
you burst Lord,
light in our darkest hour,
coming into our everyday life,
our mundane activities,
our work.

You are not just for special times and places,
but for normality.

 Help me
to see you
where I am,
to hear your message
and to respond to it.

 

Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page

Go and Look #adventbookclub – Day 29

Luke 2:13-20 (CEV)

13 Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said:

14 “Praise God in heaven!
Peace on earth to everyone
    who pleases God.”

15 After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.” 16 They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay.

17 When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him. 18 Everyone listened and was surprised. 19 But Mary kept thinking about all this and wondering what it meant.

20 As the shepherds returned to their sheep, they were praising God and saying wonderful things about him. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said.

We’ve read on days 21 and 26 of the angels appearing to the shepherds.  Now we see what they do about it.

It would have been possible for the shepherds to hear the angel’s message and do nothing about it.  To dismiss it as a vivid imagination on a cold night, or something altogether too scary to consider, or too much like hard work to move.

But they didn’t, they decided to go and investigate, to see what it was that God was wanting to show them.

As they arrive, things are exactly as God said – Mary and Joseph and the Son of God.  Just as God said.

And they worship.

Mary, she took all this in, and wondered…

What was this all about?  Where was it heading?

The shepherds, they went back to their sheep, but not to forget about it.  I’m sure that night lived with them for the rest of their lives.  They went back praising God – for all they had seen and all he had done.

God calls, delivers his message, It is up to us what we do about it.  But if we ignore it, who knows what we might be missing.  If we follow it, we will find everything just as God says.

See Amid the Winter’s Snow

God speaks.
Do I hear?
If I hear, do I do anything about it?
Do I leave it?

I am Very Busy.
I have Responsibilities.
Perhaps I was imagining it…
That wasn’t meant for me,
surely for someone else?

What might I miss out on?
Encounter with God?
A space of worship?
A chance to know?
Something to learn?

Lord,
when you call
may I hurry to you,
kneel before you,
find you
and know you

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

Don’t Be Afraid #adventbookclub – Day 26

Luke 2:10-12 (CEV)

10 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. 11 This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12 You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”

“Don’t be afraid” the angel says to the shepherds.

Don’t be afraid that I’ve broken right into your life.
Don’t be afraid that there is light all around.
Don’t be afraid that I am speaking to you.

Don’t be afraid God is here.
Where you are.
In the reality of your life.
Coming to bring
Life
and Light
and Hope

Our idea of ‘holy’ is to protect God from anything unpleasant and unmentionable, yet Jesus’ idea of ‘holy’ is to bring the fresh air of heaven right into the dirtiest and messiest corners of our world (p119)

Nothing sums this up better than Maggi’s own words in this song:

Into the darkness of this world;
Into the shadows of the night;
Into this loveless place You came,
Lightened our burdens, eased our pain
And made these hearts Your home.
Into the darkness once again,
Oh come, Lord Jesus, come

Come with Your love
To make us whole.
Come with Your light
To lead us on.
Driving the darkness
Far from our souls.
O come, Lord Jesus, come.

Into the longing of our souls;
Into these heavy hearts of stone;
Shine on us now Your piercing light,
Order our lives and souls aright
By grace and love unknown.
Until in You our hearts unite,
Oh come, Lord Jesus, come.

Come with Your love…etc

O Holy Child, Emmanuel;
Hope of the ages, God with us,
Visit again this broken place,
Till all the earth declares Your praise,
And Your great mercies own.
Now let Your love be born in us,
O come, Lord Jesus, come.

Come with Your love…etc.

Come in Your glory
Take Your place.
Jesus, the Name above all names.
We long to see You face to face,
O come, Lord Jesus, come.

Words and Music by Maggi Dawn
Copyright 1993 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music

Or a more traditional offering

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.