The Shepherd of Luke 2…
The wind was brisk and all I could think of was Martha at home with our son, snuggled and attempting to stay warm. It has been a hard year of work as well as bringing a new child into the world under the oppression of Herod and his schemes.
Despite the struggle we are getting by, hoping for Spring and the newness that comes with a warm breeze.
Tonight’s wind, though, it was cold. It chilled and gave way to a tension in the air that felt thick enough to cut but as hard as ice. It is not that this night was different from the last in task or weather, but there was something unique. The sheep were restless and the stars in the sky seemed to stand still.
Then the moment came. the sky split open and there before us stood a being beyond description… even if I had the words to give his likeness, I would be verbalizing a mere picture of the fear inducing glory of this creature.
I could not move in his presence but he was not an angel of wrath, he came to bring good news.
“Do not be afraid, I am a messenger bringing you the greatest of news that will bring joy to the whole world.”
At his words a warmth gave my tired soul and tense body rest. He revealed that this very night a child was to be born nearby. The Christ. The promised holy one. This was not a fable of old. There was to be One that would finally save God’s people.
I remember sitting near my grandfathers feet during the passover meals commemorating the first salvation and hearing of one yet to come. Could this be it? Could the Messiah come among us as a babe? Could the redeemer of Israel be a mere child?
Other angelic beings joined the messenger and they praised the Creator: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
This is the hope we have held onto for generations. Let us go and see him…
This advent season, let us run after Jesus in pursuit of him. The Abide Advent sermon “The Moment Before.”