I have been a very delinquent blogger! Of course, being too busy traveling around the country and spending time with those you love seems like a pretty good reason.
I am now in the mountains of Colorado - waiting on my in-laws to arrive and looking out my window at some snow. I love this time of the year.
I love this place.
We got to go to The River Church yesterday. We love our church here and look forward to actually being able to be involved in it one of these days! Mark gave a great message on angels and the different responses of those that experienced an angel encounter in the Christmas story.
Zechariah responded in disbelief as the angel told him that his wife would have a baby boy. It was a lot to take in! Suddenly, an angel appears and then delivers some news that seems preposterious! They were older and had not been able to have a baby (I wonder if he thought about the story of Abraham and Sarah!) He won the prize of being silent until the baby was born
and named John.
Mary was also visited by an angel. She, too, was very surprised! She took in what he said and then asked, "How can this be?" After all, she was a young woman who was engaged, but had never been with a man. As the angel gave her a few more details, she responded with acceptance, awe and belief.
Mary walked out Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight.
Such trust . . . such leaning into the Lord . . . such faith and obedience.
Joseph was also visited by an angel.
Unlike Zechariah, he was visited by an angel in his sleep.
(God often speaks to me in my sleep - I think because I'm still and quiet!)
One can only imagine how he was feeling as he laid his head down that night. He has just been told by his beloved that she is pregnant but she has not been unfaithful to him. Okay . . . sure. I'm sure he was heavy hearted as he thought about the choices that he had ahead of him.
But, after the angel spoke to him, he immediately believes and obeys. How critical that would be at that moment and in the future when the angel again came to him in a dream and told him to flee to Egypt with his wife and baby.
From the earliest days of Jesus' earthly life, he has both of his parents setting the example to listen to God and to obey what He says.
The shepherds also had an angel encounter. Theirs was quite dramatic! We are told that a heavenly host of angels appeared and sang! I'm pretty sure that they were freaked out, at least initially.
I love that the angels came to those who had time to hear them.
These shepherds had the privilege of knowing about this good news before anyone else did and they also responded in obedience as they went to seek out this baby King.
How will you respond to the good news of Jesus this Christmas?
Will you continue in disbelief?
Will you respond in faith?
Will you share this news with someone else?
Will you be obedient to God's call?
I am so grateful for this good news.
I am so grateful that God became flesh and dwelt among us.
I am so grateful for the life that He gives me
and offers to each one of you.
Merry Christmas, indeed.