I awoke this morning to the wind howling and the rain falling. There was a whisper in my ear.
Thank you Lord.
I’ve been trying to make the shift in my life to become more of a listener than a talker. I create a lot of noise, most of it purposeless.
Fall on your knees. O hear the angels voices.
Oh night divine. Oh night when Christ was born.
Familiar words from an old Christmas song. The writer beckoning us to listen; to hear what the angels are saying. What are they saying? “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord…Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” (Luke 2:10-11,14 TNIV) The Christmas evening sky heralded their message to a group of shepherds in a nearby field. They had found favor with God. They were in God’s view, He saw them, He favored them.
A bunch of boys really. Dirty, not highly thought of, probably the last to be invited over for dinner. But this is whom God decided would get a private heavenly concert.
I wonder if I were a shepherd that night, would I have listened?
Would I have run in fear because I assumed the worst? Would I have fainted on the spot?
They were afraid, but they listened, they believed the angel words, so much so they left their sheep and went looking for the baby Jesus.
I wonder if they were chosen because God knew they would actually listen?
In her book, Deeply Loved: 40 Ways in 40 Days to Experience the Heart of Jesus, Keri Wyatt Kent writes, “Some of us claim to be uncomfortable with silence, not because of the silence itself but because of the voice we might hear in the silence. We expect condemnation, shame. But Jesus declares that he has called us friends, that he loves us.”
In the story of the shepherds Christmas night, we find crowns of favor meant for us. They pushed aside fear of what they thought God was going to say to them; that perhaps God was there to make them feel more deeply what they already knew? Nobody really cared for them, nobody really cared about who they were. Shepherds were the lost boys of their time.
But these boys listened to the angel voices telling them not to be afraid. God saw them, God cared about them, God believed in them.
Thank you shepherds of so long ago. I don’t have to be afraid of silence, of who I really am, of my assumption God will also condemn me. You teach me why listening matters. When I listen, really listen, I hear that I’m favored by God. This makes me want to find Jesus all the more.
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