December 26, 2019
Scripture: Luke 2:8-9
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.
Thought for the Day: Have you ever been minding your own business, doing what you were expected to do, and the unexpected happened? How many nights had some of these shepherds watched and protected flocks? Let’s say they had been doing it for 15 years, and let us dream generously that they got a couple weeks off every year. If that’s the case, they had done this over 5,000 times. To suggest it was routine would be an understatement. I’m sure there were some exciting nights when a wolf or thief attempted to take one of the sheep, but even that was somewhat expected. Angels, in all their glory, were not even on the radar of the most creatively imaginative shepherd. In those moments, what is your reaction? Fear is a common reaction, and an understandable reaction. But does fear in the face of the unexpected need to be the defining emotion and/or reaction? As you’ve often heard me say: fear can be an engine or information. We can let it be an engine that causes us to run away, or it can be information that says, “Wow, that was unexpected… (after catching one’s breath), but what does it mean?” Let’s go beyond the reading of the story and try to live the story, following the example of the shepherds, for though they were terrified, they paused long enough to see how the unexpected was, in fact, glorious news.
Prayer: Give me space to react when the unexpected occurs, O Merciful and Gentle God. Allow for your grace to help me pause long enough to see through the shock and to glimpse the message being revealed. Amen.
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