“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all the people …Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” Luke 2:10, 20**
You let them in.
Country men doing a commoner’s job, they were unsuspecting.
(And so am I.)
You broke through with the news of this King dressed in infant flesh, and wrote it all across their sky. Your humble appearance was made to the fame-less, first.
You didn’t seek fame, You sought glory. And You told a story in itself by including these men.
Oh God, whose one Son held the power of all the world and eternity in His Spirit, You were not threatened by weakness. You embodied it when You sent Him here. And those men, that night — gritty with everyday life — were invited to witness glory.
I adore You, Father, who chooses a commoner like me to witness glory. I praise You that Your upside down kingdom doesn’t call for perfection or notoriety, but hunger in life’s quiet existence. You didn’t select a hollow entrance for a sterile unfolding of Your plan. You chose an inn to receive You and country-folk to to be included in the telling that has happened for generations. They were a foreshadowing.
What they heard and saw — what You spoke to them and showed them, when their familiar sky was litered with glory and angels and adorations and words from on high — was the same invitation You offer me.
The world shifted on that night when beholding now included a person. God had fingers and toes and eyes. Love could touch and receive touch and those shepherds heard this love’s first earthly decree for all mankind. Behold it. Behold Him.
I adore You, God, who makes it simple for me.
And by beholding, I glorify.
By praising, I participate.
You usher me in by telling me to do the one thing my flesh resists but which makes my heart soar. Behold. By looking deep into You — that night, then, and across my world, now — I come alive. Their involvement that night gave them a place in the holy story of ages. And they simply beheld You.
I adore You, God, who calls forth a long-look from a commoner that will change their life. I worship You, God, who invites a long-look from this weak-one that will change my life. Thank You, Father, that when I behold You — Your words and Your life that was that Word — when I truly look long and engage with my eyes and my ears at the glory You’ve chosen to share with me, I am changed.
Life’s hustle, now, quietly excuses the very thing that marked those shepherds for all of eternity. Life’s hustle, then, quietly excused the birth that would alter all of mankind. Forever.
But Your invitation doesn’t stop.
I adore You for bidding me, come. And for giving my life purpose from that one, lowly-to-man, place. What my world aligns against, You turn into great glory.
Thank You, God, for that night You summoned them. When heaven didn’t need a witness, You still invited.
I thank You, God, for summoning me. When heaven doesn’t need a witness, You still invite me.
And it’s here that I can taste true praise and glory.
**So what do I do with these posts, you ask, other than just read them? First, if you haven’t yet, read: Why I Adore and Morning Chai, Explained to give you a context for this little space on my blog.
If you are compelled, I invite you to participate. Set up a space and time in your own life to begin adoring. Over laundry or dinner dishes, on your commute to work, or in the wee morning hours — five or ten minutes is a great start. You can use the verse I list here every day or two as a launch pad for your own adoration. (Showing Up gives you some practicals.)
Then practice praise.
I promise your weary soul won’t regret it.
You can see all of the Morning Chai posts with this link: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/ and you can easily subscribe to these devotional meditations as they are delivered, by using this feed: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/chai or by entering your email address in the second box on the right-hand side.
And a note: Photos compliments of Mandie Joy. This girl has also set me up on instagram. Friends, it took several sittings for me to know exactly what that means and I still don’t quite get it …except, that you can now find updates and useful graphics on Instagram @everybitterthingissweet. Mandie keeps me in the 21st century.