God with Us – Reality instead of Theory - Friday, December 13th

God with Us – Reality instead of Theory - Friday, December 13th

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. Luke 2:15-20

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

The shepherds are a part of an unfolding story. It is first the story of God’s “provision” of redemption. The story of the “provision” of redemption was completed on the cross of Calvary. It is then the story of the “offering” of redemption which has been going on since the moment the “provision” of redemption was completed. Those who step into the unfolding story of God's “offering” of redemption to the world, step into their own personal story which they cannot help but share with others. The shepherds had the amazing experience of worshiping God with the angels of Heaven at the announcement of the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. After this experience, today's passage tells us that the shepherds went to see Jesus in response to the instructions they had been given by the angel.

We are then given these words upon which everything hinges for the shepherds and us: "After seeing him." The worship the shepherds experienced with the angels at the announcement of the birth of Jesus, now becomes the worship they experience in their own personal encounter with Christ. "Seeing him" is all important for us as well. Whether it is our initial encounter with Christ at "conversion" or our ongoing encounter with him in daily "communion," "seeing him" makes all the difference. To "see him" is to "worship him" and to "worship him" is life altering. The impact is so great, that we, like the shepherds, share our story with others.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, help me to see you more clearly and to experience you more fully. May the overflow of my worship wash over the people around me in ways that give me opportunity to share my story and the story of redemption. May the lives of your people everywhere this Christmas season be filled with experiences of "seeing you" in worship and may the world be blessed with what happens "after" all the "seeing you" experiences of your people all around the world. Amen!

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