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December 15, 2022 Advent Reflection

December 15, 2022

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

As I read this scripture, I couldn’t help but think about how terrified the shepherds must have been. Imagine sitting there, with nothing but the light of a fire, and you are used to listening for predators sneaking up on your flock. Even the tiniest noise could mean danger. Suddenly there is a great light, the glory of the Lord shining around them, I am only assuming it would seem a little blinding. Not only that, the great, blinding light speaks to you. It’s telling you not to be afraid. I think I would be sitting there thinking, Ya right!?! Seriously, I am not even sure I would have heard the words “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people”. However, at the beginning of verse 10 the tiny word “But” indicates that because the angel said “Do not be afraid”, they didn’t stay terrified. *spoiler alert * I read on…In fact they were able to hear the whole message, and moved from terrified to planning a trip to Bethlehem.

Have you ever gone from terrified to excited in a matter of minutes? I think about times when my principal has called me to the office and said “I need to talk to you.” Those always feel like dreaded words, and for me that causes instant anxiety…my mind starts racing about anything and everything that they could possibly want to talk to me about. The endless list of all my imperfections clouding anything that could possibly be good. I don’t know why this happens, because to be honest, it usually never turns out that way my mind plays it out. In fact, it is usually because they are seeking my advice, telling me of opportunities that I could participate in, or it's about my annual review, which has always been quite helpful and pleasant. It isn’t long before my terror turns to excitement.

I asked God to show me what he wanted me to see in this piece of scripture, and in just 7 simple verses, so many words popped out to me; Glory of the Lord, Shone, Don’t be afraid, Good News, Great Joy, Saviour born to you, and Peace. My next thought was, how fortunate are we to have a Savior born to us, that brings everything we need to live in His Glory, His light, His Good News, His fearlessness, His Great Joy and His Peace. We have no reason to fear because he is already here, dwelling inside of each of us, while equipping us with everything we need to live in all He desires for us. He is a good God, who brings “good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”

Written by Anita Pugh


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