Day 13. December 13, 2019
Nativity Companion: The Shepherd with the Sheep
We long for your coming. We yearn for your shalom, peace. Might we look to see your coming. And might we speak of what we have seen. AMEN.
Luke 1:50-53 (NRSV).
50 God’s mercy is for those who fear God
from generation to generation.
51 God has shown strength with God’s arm;
God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 God has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
Reflection (from Christian Collins Winn).
I can’t believe what I just saw! Will anyone believe me?
I and my companions were minding the flocks just outside of town. We were gathering around the small fire to begin our nightly ritual of telling stories and trying to keep up our courage to go through the night out in the fields, when all of a sudden—blinding light, voices, and what I cannot deny sounds crazy when I utter the words, but an actual angel stood before us!
We were all terrified! It’s not like we are highly respected or revered. I mean my own sons don’t want to be shepherds; they would rather be shopkeepers, or scribes. I have even heard the religious figures in our town say they pity me because I am uneducated and therefore cannot keep the Torah as it should be kept. I could not help but wonder if judgement time had arrived.
But no. No, judgment is not what I heard. No, even now the words stumble out of my mouth—good news of great joy! A savior, a rescuer, one who will liberate us from our bondage, one who will side with the lowly and the outcast, one who will bring “shalom among those whom God favors!” This is what I heard!
And what is more, I saw the one about whom the angels spoke!
Yes, I actually saw the child—he was only a few days old, but those eyes, and the eyes of his mother. I will never forget the look of his mother, or the cry of that child as long as I live, for it is a sign that redemption has broken into the world; and into my own life. Thanks be to God!
Questions for Consideration.
God, might we open ourselves to experiencing and believing stories that terrify us, stories that are hard to believe so that we might then truly live and believe the good news that you are here to liberate us and bring your shalom to our world. We give you thanks, Oh God. AMEN.