Frightened Shepherds

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 (NIV)

Do we find ourselves reaching a crucial point in the story of Jesus?  Luke has built us up for the birth of the promised Baby sent from Heaven.  Angels are appearing to humble every-day people with incredible news.  All of a sudden, there appears another angel to shepherds watching their flocks during the night.  The glory of the Lord shines brilliant through the darkness and fear seizes all those present in the fields that night.  What reaction was left to them?  What can a person do when their grip on reality is shattered?   How can we respond to seeing what we know of the world around us vanish in an instant?  When an Almighty Being moves in a way where we are finally aware of Him in a real and conscious Way, what should we feel?  What will we sense when the barriers that separate us are finally removed and we find ourselves in the Presence of the Divine?

We see the reaction of the shepherds.  It reflects countless responses of other encounters throughout the Scriptures.  People are gripped with fear.  They are startled.  They throw themselves on the ground trembling and afraid.  What would we do?  If an angel of the Lord appeared to us today, what would our reaction be?  Would it shake us too?  Would we be able to find reason and explanation to what we see?  Or would we seek escape from our fear?  Would it frighten us to the core and leave us scared and undone before the Lord?

In the face of such threatening circumstances the angel´s voice breaks through.  As the light of the Lord pierces the blackness of the night and leaves us no escape, his reassuring voice floats gently to us.  “Do not be afraid!”  He says, “I bring you good news!”  This marvelous and mysterious vision we have before our eyes caringly tries to calm our fears.  He gently reassures us of the Father´s love and care.  He tells us that the reason he is sent to us is to bring us new that can make us all very happy.

If we are struggling to receive the Presence and the reality of God in our lives, could this good news reach us in a crucial moment?  Would a supernatural light break through the darkness of our hearts?  Is it possible that a God is trying to send us a message too?  Would this great news be that He is sending us a Savior?  Would He have us know that He loves us, cares for us and is working out a great plan to bring us safely back to Him?  Should we too be comforted in our own fears and the bleakness of our times?  Would we like to see the Lord work in mighty ways all around us?  Could we, like shepherds that night, allow this same hope to fill us?  Could we too be move into action because of the wonderful news?  Could we too set out to see for ourselves that these wonders are true?  Could we too be moved to search into this miracle Child?  Could we go to see and meet the Messiah sent from the Father?

Dear Lord, we hear the news of Jesus.  We cannot fathom the supernatural implications.  But for the hope Your good news brings, we are stirred.  We would come.  We want to know.  We would like to see with our own eyes this Gift which You have sent us.  Please show us the Way.  Please direct us to the place where we too can meet Him personally.  Let us exchange our fears for great joy today.  Show us we pray, Your promised Son Jesus Christ!



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