Advent Season – Week 4 – Shepherds
December 23, 2018
Worship at FLPC is enriched during Advent and Christmas by Worship Banners that were designed and created by Margaret McKinnon Harris and given to FLPC to the glory of God in 2016. Each week another pair of banners will be hung in the sanctuary that invite us into the ancient story of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth and into the current call to be transformed into a disciple of Jesus Christ. We hope these banners will enhance your worship on Sundays and will invite you into the journey of discipleship every day of the week.
Fourth Week of Advent - Shepherds
Almost there and no time too soon! The baby’s birth is imminent. Mary and Joseph stop and ask two shepherds by a campfire if they have any suggestions about lodging. One tells them to check the local inn. Wearily they continue on up the final assents to Bethlehem. They savor the thoughts of a hot meal shared with fellow travelers and a comfortable bed to rest and prepare for the delivery. Mary and Joseph are unaware of the disappointment they will feel when they meet the inn keeper. How do we react when our expectations are not met or are changed? Do we find the grace to accept the unexpected and to grow from the experience?
Which are we supposed to do, just do our job or are we supposed to serve God? Of course, the answer is “yes”. The shepherds encountered angels precisely because they were busy just doing their job. Being busy at our tasks is always where we meet God. In some ways that is exactly what God is doing in Jesus – hiding in plain view in a human baby. But the people of his time missed it because they expected God’s Messiah to come from the palace, from a wealthy family, from a position of power and influence.
How do we respond when things don’t go the way we want them to go? There was no room in the inn for Mary and Joseph. They had to make do with a stable. Could we have been grateful for a dry, safe place, or would we have asked to speak to the manager and made a scene because we didn’t get what we wanted, what we needed?
- Humility seems to be God’s calling card. Is it ours?
- When frustrated, do we often stop to ask God what you might learn from the frustration? Try this and ask God to show us what we need to learn.
Does it change how you think about the mundane tasks of life (chores and repetitive work) to realize that God often shows up in the mundane? Practice paying attention to the details of life, and look for God there today.