Friday, December 27, 2013
Friday, December 27, 2013
Now it happened that when the angels 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.' So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds said to them.
I wonder what the Shepherds thought about what they were seeing. What did they make of it?
Tell them the child is the “incarnation” of God in the flesh, and they would have scratched their heads and walked off.
Dumbfounded stares would have been their reaction to discussion of the two natures of Christ, God and human. They knew no creeds or doctrine. This was beyond them.
Their actions are concrete and plain: They hurried. They saw. They told their story. Simple.
They make me realize how I--and most of the Western church--have made Christian faith unnecessarily complicated and difficult.
I like knowing complicated words and concepts. They give understanding of the faith in depth and help me know what I believe, the God I trust, stripping away false and foolish notions.
But such knowledge can also puff up the ego, distracting the heart and the mind from what we most need, from what I most need
Like the shepherds, I need to see Jesus--and seeing, I need to tell what I see.
See and share: In seeing I receive precious knowledge, not of mind but heart, but of a Heart so great it has room for me and everyone.
In telling, this awareness fills me with the joy of being part of this Great Heart that embraces all creation, all humanity in all its need, joy and brokenness, an embrace of infinite love and red-hot passion for the healing of all things.
Near the end of Jesus ministry, before his crucifixion, out of town strangers came to Jesus’ disciples with a simple request, “We want to see Jesus.”
Here at the start of Jesus journey, shepherds come out of the cold with the same request, “Where is the child? We were told he is here. We want to see him.”
Seeing Jesus, hurrying to see Jesus should be the first order of life and of each day for us.
Seeing him transforms our minds and opens our hearts to see and share the beauty and grace he is. It gives purpose, hope and direction to daily life
Far more than complex words and ideas, we need to follow the shepherds. Their feet lead to the place of knowing what is most needed.
Pr. David L. Miller