He Reveals, We Respond
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
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.” (Luke 2:8-15)
There are so many things I love about the story of Jesus’ birth! My favorite part is how God breaks this world-changing news to these shepherds guarding sheep. It’s musical in its artistry. One angel comes and says the usual “Do not be afraid” and then tells the boys “today’s the day!” That would be huge enough, but he doesn’t stop there. Suddenly a great crescendo of heaven’s armies joined the song, and I can’t even imagine the amazing production but it had to be FANTASTIC!
God revealed this to these shepherds and they responded with “Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” As we’ve been reading through Luke, there’s a rhythm that progresses: people in and/or open to a relationship with God respond when His work is revealed. Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, the shepherds and even baby John in the womb respond to God as He reveals.
Their responses vary as well. Zechariah doubts, then believes; Elizabeth rejoices; baby John leaps; Mary questions, humbly submits, then later composes a song; and the shepherds go and see. All over the first two chapters of Luke, God reveals and people respond.
You know this can also be the theme of your life, with God revealing and you responding? This is the essence of God’s “unforced rhythm of grace.” (see: Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)
This is what I love about the “God Sightings” we practice during VBX! It teaches our kids to look for God at work during the week, and you know what? He doesn’t disappoint! So as you read Luke this week, make sure to take some time to reflect and respond to what God reveals to you through the incredible story of Jesus.