Saturday, January 10, 2015

Interrupted by Joy

On my Bible Reading Plan for this year, the book of Luke is the first New Testament book to be read.  So even though it is January, the year begins with the reading of the Christmas story.  For me, the account of the shepherds holds a dear place in my heart.  They were a group of people doing their every day task when an angel of the Lord appeared and God’s glory shone around them.  Their work was interrupted by a joyous revelation.  God had chosen to announce His best news to ordinary people who were working in a field at night.  The shepherds believed the good news, changed their schedule and went to see the Christ child they had been told about, and then joyously shared what they had seen and heard.

Earlier this week, we received a phone call from Abby that the beginning stages of labor had begun.  Prayers began and plans for the next day were joyously interrupted.  We arrived at the hospital a little after 5:00 a.m.; and the waiting began.  Whatever plans we had for the day willingly took a back seat to the anticipation of the arrival of a grandchild.  Early that afternoon, Daniel made his appearance.  He now joins Scott, Abby, and Mary in a family of four.  Daniel carries his father’s middle name.  He is also named for an Old Testament man who was willing to take a stand for his God even when others around him chose not to.  When threatened with sure death, Daniel chose to affirm his belief in God.  He exhibited faith and courage throughout his lifetime.  Our grandson’s parents gave him his name, but we pray that a day will come when Daniel will choose for himself the name “Christ follower” because of his belief and trust in Jesus.

Later that evening, surrounded by parents, a big sister, two sets of grandparents, and an aunt, Larry led in a prayer of thanksgiving for Daniel who is “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  He was acknowledged as a gift from God.  Larry prayed for wisdom for Daniel’s parents as they raise him.  He also prayed for the day to come when Daniel would choose Jesus as his Lord and Savior and live out God’s purpose for his life.  As Larry was in the process of concluding his prayer, Mary’s little voice spoke up and said, “Thank you for the baby.”  I, too, thank you God for the gifts of baby Jesus and baby Daniel.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14

Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
Daniel 6:3-6

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Luke 2:8-20

1 comment:

  1. Oh Debbie, this brought tears of joy to my eyes! Blessings to all. This Spring Bible Study will have a special place in your heart, won't it?