In this age of finding information at the drop of a hat on the information highway of google or whatever search engine you choose, it is good to remember that “we” did not come up with the information. Google did and before that it was the Encyclopedia.
We can become so consumed with being right, having the right answer or absorbed trying to find the answer that we miss that it is okay not to know.
Oswald Chambers wrote:
“Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride…..Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.”
My Utmost For His Highest, November 22
Consider this, after 400 years of silence on God’s part, He comes to shepherds. Shepherds are not necessarily known for their intellectual prowess, and yet that is who God choose to reveal the news that a special baby had been born. Not just any baby but the Saviour of the world. Think of it, He has the entire world to chose from and God choose shepherds.
Try to imagine what it would have been like that night.
Sitting around in the dark on a grassy slope of Israel, surrounded by bleating sheep, brilliant stars twinkle overhead, as a group of unkempt, smelly men huddle around a small campfire. They tug awkwardly at their tunics trying to pull them a bit closer to ward off the nasty chill that hovers in the air. The talk is in a low murmur, not wishing to distract the restful sheep, each of them occasionally glances out in the darkness trying to discern if there are any predators on the horizon. They talk of sheep, home, food, politics and of course, women in the banter that circles the fire. It is a scene that happens almost every night, nothing new, the stories the same, the dreams the same, they have heard them all, these men. They live here on the slopes, their lives revolve around the sheep, they rarely have new stories, new adventures, thus the stories stay the same.
And then it happens………
A glaring brilliant light appears directly overhead blinding the men, they cry out in alarm, terrified and try to search with unseeing eyes to find the source.
“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:9-10
Terrified – this is not a comforting word and I doubt the statement “do not be afraid” did little to calm their fears.
A whole host of angels appear in the sky and start to praise God.
Can you imagine what that would have sounded like?
Nothing, silence ensues, the darkness returns, the shepherds are silent, each alone with their own thoughts, mulling the who, what, why’s of what had just happened.
They saw something they could not understand, something that was supernatural, unheard of, we can safely say they saw UFO’s. Unidentified Flying Objects, we know them now to be angels.
The shepherds did not know what had happened, or why it had happened nor did they have answers, and it was okay. They were willing to be shallow to go find the answer and they did.
My Christmas prayer for you, is that you get some time this Christmas season to sit a while by yourself and picture in your mind what it would have been like for you to be on that grassy slope that fateful evening.
What would you have done? Run away or run to Bethlehem and see the baby? Analyze it, rationalize it? This was nothing you could have rationalized. You might even question if any of this story is real. Did it really happen? Does God still speak to people now like He did back then?
Ask Him, be shallow enough to ask and find out.
When you are sitting quietly on your grassy field, wondering if God is going to show up tonight, your night, ask Him. Ask Him out of your heart, not your mind, “Are you there?”
Then listen, listen intently like you have never listened before and you will here His answer, "I Am."
It will be the only answer you need. It will satisfy all the questions you have, the yearning in your heart to have meaning, purpose, life. He provides it all. He did it 2,000 years ago and He is still doing it today and it is the best Christmas present – EVER!
Merry Christmas my friends!