Now there were in the same country shepherd living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 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. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:8-14**
Behold. I am called to attention by Your words whispered through the angel. Look, You say to me. You said to them. You highlight what matters in a world full of second-bests. You are beauty’s magnifying glass. And You share Your lens. You did it with them that mystical night when wonder found its inception and You do, now, with me.
I worship You, God who is worth every minute of my beholding. Every single minute. I praise You, Father, who teaches me to behold and who grants me life in my beholding.
Your message expands as it is received. What was good in the message — good tidings — becomes great in the hearts of those that receive it. And joy multiplies in the recipient.
Do I even know this joy? Can I even comprehend the kind of joy You sent that night which has been passed down through generations, only to grow in its bequeathing?
Your Spirit expands. And Your gift-offering is for all the people.
I worship You, oh God indiscriminate.
Your joy is for her this day, the child who has known no family. Your joy is for my broken-hearted friend and for the mother by her daughter’s hospital bedside. This news whispered by angels, accompanied by a sky filled with heavenly hosts, and received by the earth’s lowly ones, has the ability to speak louder than circumstances. You speak louder than what we see with our eyes.
I behold You and nothing looks the same again. Not one thing.
I praise You for this holy beholding which happened then, when the night-sky was peeled back and heaven showed its hand — and when I do, hunger arises. I come to my senses. My whole life is meant to crave this One thing. This one God-Man.
I was made to see stars and beauty and heavenly lights when my world’s undertones are gray. I was made to know joy at my least-expected moments. You broke through mundanity, then, as a picture of how life can be found among straw and hay and dirt.You offer that same in-breaking to me now.
I worship You, Beauty. I love You, Father of lights. I receive You, Initiator of joy for all the people.
You, oh Lord, are the great gift. Ever-unfolding, always more aspects of You to be unwrapped, You are unending pleasure.
**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 to give you a context for this little space on my blog. (This post also gives context.)
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.
Then practice praise.
Add to my adoration here, by posting a comment with your own words back to God about God …or hide it in your heart. Or wait until a Monday and link up to my adoration posts with your own adoration.
I promise your weary soul won’t regret it.
***You can easily subscribe to these devotional meditations as they are delivered, by using this feed: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/feed or by entering your email address in the second box on the right-hand side… (scroll up a bit)
Additionally, all of the Morning Chai Posts can be seen, in the order of posting, by clicking here or adding this address to your reader: http://EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai