Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Today’s text

Luke 2:9-15

An angel of the Lord stood over them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the angel said, 'Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.' And all at once with the angel there was a great throng of the hosts of heaven, praising God with the words Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace for those he favors. Now it happened that when the angles had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go to Bethlehem and see this event which the Lord has made known to us.'


“Don’t be afraid,” the angel commands.

She (or is it he?) should have saved her breath. The light of God warms the winter night for shepherds on a hillside, and it is fear we most expect.

No command can still their fears … or ours. Go ahead, try. Command yourself not to be afraid. Command the fear of one who is dear to your heart. Tell their fears to go and not return. It does no good. We cannot be talked out of fears.

We can only be loved out of them.

Clueless about what they were doing, the shepherds do exactly this. “Let’s go and see,” they say. They run across frozen fields under the starlight to the old barn to see what is happening.

Join them.

Gather your hopes and fears. Take the ache at the pit of your stomach for something you don’t know how to name. Take the fragmented pieces of your life you can’t put together in way that satisfies your desire for a life that is truly human and happy.

Take your feeling of being lost and needy. Take your restless desire to know a great love that is always sufficient. Take your fears of life and death. Take that sinking feeling that your life will never be what you want and need it to be

Take it all, and go see the child.

The shepherds, confused and shy, slowly draw near, not knowing how close they may come or whether they are welcome.

Stand among them on hesitant feet. Come to the manger. See the child who stirs the hope that the ache in your heart can find healing.

Come and see: In this child, God comes to you. God pours the love of the divine heart into human form, seeking to awaken in you the love that is in the child … for you.

When you know this love you know the One who saves you from all that is not love.

This Love will save you from yourself and all your fears, pouring love on each of your dyings until there is nothing left but life and the angel’s song.

Pr. David L. Miller

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