Balzhausen, Leonhardskapelle, Krippe Photo: Andreas Praefcke
May I follow the example of the shepherds. May I hasten to seek God’s Word. May I pay reverence to the most vulnerable of our human family.
When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. Luke 2:15-16
God is with us, God is in charge, God’s vision still has its time. Do not be afraid.
[The angel of the Lord said, “Mary] will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Matthew 1:21-23
Francois-Barthelemy-Marius Abel (1832-1870) Figure kneeling in prayer, 1856 Watercolor and brown ink on medium weight off-white wove paper By Shepherd Gallery (Flickr: ABEL – Figure Kneeling in Prayer) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
So often my prayers are imperious.
I forget prayer is a time of self-emptying, of surrendering myself to God.
Today I will pray to be blessed with the knowledge of God’s will for me and the grace to carry it out.
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” Mark 10:35
Henry Ossawa Tanner, American (active France), 1859 – 1937 The Annunciation, 1898 oil on canvas Philadelphia Museum of Art
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27
God sends specific messengers to specific locations to specific people every day.
I met several of God’s messengers at the Salvation Army Friday. Some were tiny children crying for their mothers. Some were cranky or bossy or argumentative adults. I did my best to keep saying “yes” to bearing God’s Love into the swirl of human emotions. It took all my energy.
Some messengers were kind and efficient, unfailingly gracious and cheerful. They are a living example of saying “yes” to being Love Bearers in our world where all of us just want to love and be loved.