15. Then the whole sky filled with angels who sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth.” The angels left and the shepherds decided to go and see the baby.
Music can lift my spirit and take my whole being somewhere unexpected. What is your favourite piece of music? Does it inspire or well up melancholy into you very being. These angels singing must have been all your top ten rolled into one. Not one but a veritable host singing God’s praise; really professional worship, top draw. The shepherds so moved they left there sheep to view the child.
What will draw you from worship to action today’s?
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Insights, Observation, Reflection
Tagged angels, glory, huddersfield parish church, inspired, music, shepherd's, singing, top ten
14. Out on the hills nearby, there lived some shepherdswho were looking after their sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared and said to the shepherds, “Don’t be scared. There is wonderful news. A Saviour has been born.”
To be quite contradictory from yesterday’s thought, into the ordinariness of shepherding sheep news of something different – “a Saviour….born.” Is the challenge of the angel – “don’t be scared!” – because the visitation or because the message? An angel would be startling, but the message is momentous. God touching life in a fleshy way alters the game of life. Faith in God is born in a baby, go and see. The occasion will change you!
12. Mary and Joseph found somewhere with the animals where they could stay.
Jesus said: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
Somewhere to stay for Mary and Joseph was not a five star hotel, not even a second rate B and B; but somewhere outside regulation perfection; ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ is the old adage. If this part of the Christmas story is allegory for you and your position before God, let me encourage you. No matter how small and insignificant, however unclean or unworthy; God will dwell in you. The Jesus who spoke of us ‘asking’, ‘seeking’ and ‘knocking’ gave and still gives himself as the example for us to follow.
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Tagged ask, huddersfield parish church, inn, Jesus, joseph, knock, mary, seek, somewhere, your story
10. It was a long and difficult journey, especially for Mary whose tummy was getting very big because the baby was nearly ready to be born.
There is a strange encumbrance, a draw back to being heavily pregnant; how you move, what you can eat it or drink. What a time for Mary to take a long journey? There must have been great expectation, in the simple birth of a first child and this promise of Emmanuel.
Advent can be a time of preparation as we move toward the birth of the Christ-child. We may grow wise in the encumbrances or draw backs in our own spirituality in this ‘long and difficult journey’ we call life.
What burden do we gift to Jesus that he would carry for us?
8. Mary said, “God does great things: because of my baby the hungry will be fed, the poor will be lifted up.”
‘Christ be with me, Christ within me’ – such a subtle prayer that can only reflect Mary’s song.
Mary understood the significance of her baby. In the eye of the wise, those who saw her (Elizabeth) and those who were to see her babe (Simeon), there seems to develop a critical prophetic eye. That the child will grow to be a mover and shaker, but not in the business or political sense. Jesus was to become the Emmanuel- ‘God with us’ – for the poor and marginalised.
Therefore in the prayer ‘Christ be with me, Christ within me’ maybe we should hear Mary saying to us, “God does great things: because of my son in you, the hungry will be fed, the poor will be lifted up.”
May you reflect the Christ light in you dealings, particularly the marginalised today. Do something that shows that light today.
6. Another angel visited Joseph inside a dream and said to him, “Mary’s baby will also be called ‘Emmanuel” this name means that God is with us.”
All of this week has been about the breaking of God into our world. Joseph’s experience seals the event into a name. “God is with us” should be our middle name and our very nature. May your prayer be today:
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
But like Joseph don’t just sit on the knowledge – be prepared.