Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent Days 14, 15, 16


After surviving taking my youngest to a children’s hospital this week, I’ve come down with a terrible cold. It’s forced me to rest and stop in the chaos of this medical season, which is in the middle of the holidays. But we made it to church this week (yeah!) and I’m about to embark on my first-ever Tuba Christmas with just a few days refresher course on the euphonium that I’ve borrowed, having last played one about 30+ years ago. It’s a risky venture, out of my comfort zone. But I’m finding God asking me what I would like to do in this situation and my answer is that I’d simply like to try my best. It’s a brave answer because I’ve been pretty shaken this week over my child’s health. Yet I feel the pull of this challenge, a safer challenge than the one before us. I know God goes with us in both.

Day 14 Why Invite the Shepherds?

We don’t even know their names, these shepherds who were visited by angels and invited to Jesus’ birth! I always thought angels were sent to “extra” special people in the Bible, their names burned into history at a life-changing encounter with a messenger of God. I love that God invites nearby shepherds to Jesus’ birth– who better to come and worship the Lamb of God? They must have been afraid when just one angel appeared and then a whole host of angels, worshipping God, yet still they listened and went. They wanted to come and God knew each one’s name even if we don’t. Luke 2 records this and John 10 explains further.

Day 15 So Why the Angels?

David Jeremiah sums the answer up simply: “Because we are not likely to ignore the advice of such spectacular guests.” (P. 87) Just as angels show up for extra special people like the shepherds, they show up with an extra special message designed by God to get our attention. Hebrews 2 has more info about Jesus and angels.

Day 16 Why the Wise Guys?

Okay now, we don’t really know how many wise men there were – people assume three because there were three gifts brought by them. These magi were from the East and that’s about all we know – their names also are not recorded but they, too, were invited to come through the star. (Matt. 2:2) They do not arrive at the manger, according to scripture, but to a house (Matt. 2:11). They came bearing gifts while the shepherds simply came. Both the shepherds and the wise men were invited and both came. During advent, do we remember to come to the manger? We are invited too.

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