Something from my youth worker blog
Such a quiet thing, such an everyday miracle. No Choirs of angels at Jesus’ birth… the shepherds see them.
In the middle of hardship, worry and pain, in poverty and obscurity, God almighty himself steps into human history.
And all you would have heard way the cry of a baby.
It is no different today. We see so much difficulty around us. Hurt, hardship, worry, poverty. And we can wonder where on earth God is. It can seem so very hard to see His presence and hear his voice.
But he is born again in every act of forgiveness, every kind word in the face of adversity, each commitment to love, persevering where others have stepped away.
And we may wonder what the point of unseen patience and forgiveness that only we know about is, but there will be a day when Jesus comes again and all those unseen things will become visible. (Matthew 10:26)
We continue in faith, even though Christ’s presence might feel as obscure as his birth, because now we only see in part, but one day we will see in full. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
This passage gives me great hope. Is it kings, rulers, intellectuals or pop stars that God chooses to announce his birth to?
Oh no, they were shepherds.
Which gives me great joy in knowing that God announces himself to us ordinary people (and to kings as it happens) and that we too may go and see the thin the Lord has told us about.
But we do need to go and see. What would have happened if the shepherds had said “oh that was a lovely time of fellowship with the lord” and gone back to their sheep?
They would have missed meeting Emmanuel, God with us. God in action, God in the world, Jesus the hope of the nation and the saviour of our souls.
They would have missed him.
If ever we have an experience of God, whether big our small, some quiet revelation, some beautiful outpouring of the Spirit… lets not just go back to what we were doing before, lets go see what Jesus is doing in the world, lets be part of what He is doing.
So we too can witness the presence of Immanuel, just as the shepherds did.