Advent Reading – December 6, 2017

Val Burron – Worship Design Team

Luke 2:16-20 & 16:10

In the second chapter of Luke we read the account of the shepherds’ first hand encounter with Jesus. It began with the sudden appearance of an angel and an entire choir giving them an invitation to witness a miracle right within walking distance! Their first response was fear but then expectancy rose within them at the mere absurdity of what they might see. As they grabbed their staffs and started running toward Bethlehem in the dead of the night, I’m sure there was at least one shepherd who paused for a brief moment and said “Hold it! Who’s going to watch our sheep if we leave?” I’m certain they looked at him, maybe even grabbed him by the arm and said you’re coming with us! You’re not missing a thing.

We all need friends in our lives to push or even pull us way out of our comfort zones in order to experience something new. I have a friend like that. We often bike together around this beautiful city. I always let her lead. Without fail, every single time, she will either go in a different direction or take me further and make me bike harder than I would on my own. She patiently waits for me at the top of every hill and slows her pace just so we can talk. That’s my favorite part!

Last year we were privileged to be in Phoenix at the same time together and she invited me to join her on a little mountain hike. I should have known that what she considered a little hike would turn into a three hour climb through rugged, rocky, steep and somewhat treacherous terrain. But when I got to the top she told me something that made the gruelling trek worth it even more. Sharing this experience with me was on her bucket list! As I was grunting and groaning, stopping often to take pictures and catch my breath, muttering sarcastic comments along the way, she was pausing to wait, encouraging me, knowing that what was up ahead would be worth the effort. The view did not disappoint, and I guess in many respects, neither did I! She got her wish and I saw up close and personal one of the most beautiful vistas I had ever laid my eyes on. I wouldn’t have even attempted it without her leading the way and encouraging me to keep moving.

It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who make us reach.   Just imagine if one shepherd had stayed back to watch the sheep while the others ran off to see the newborn Messiah. God had marked them for a revelation. What they experienced that night became their testimony and their testimony affected everyone around them. What they witnessed and heard drowned out the voices of the doubters and critics. It also silenced their own insecurities and fears. When they returned to their flocks and fields the next day they were changed forever. They spoke with courage and enthusiasm that surprised even themselves. They were filled with fresh faith in a God who always keeps His promises.

God is still looking for people with whom He can entrust His revelation.  When we prove faithful with a little He will bring the increase (Luke 16:10). The Lord encouraged me with this thought that we are His treasure. Not one hidden or hoarded but one that is poured out and shared in order to make the lives of others richer. His revelation may come in a variety of ways. Revelation 1:15 says “His voice is like many waters.”  The way he communicates to us is endless. It may come like a whisper through the Word. It may come as an unction to pray. It may come in the night season through a dream. However, it comes, “revelation is one of the ways God transfers His divine plan and intention to earthly reality.” There are things that only we can do. He has already placed within our possession what we need to influence those around us. And when we steward those gifts well, transformation happens.