Advent Day 17: Go and See



The term theophany means a “physical manifestation of the divine to humans.”  Certainly, we can agree that the shepherds in the fields, on the night of Jesus’ birth, experienced that and then some.  Luke gives us no indication of how long this angelic worship service went on for.  Nor does he tell us how long it took for the shepherds to recover.  What we see here, though, is that when this experience was over, the shepherds were moved to action.
They did not simply sit on the hillside and talk about it.  Instead, they got up and left their sheep to go and see this great thing they had just been told about.  In a more contemporary cultural context, they didn’t snap, tweet, facebook, or Instagram a hashtag from the hillside, they went to see it for themselves.
In our culture, being a part of something often means little more than reposting in social media.  We create hashtags for events both positive and negative.  Our solidarity with abducted girls in Africa and our celebration of our friend’s marriage often garner the same response.  Worse, though, is that our reactions to the Good News of the coming of Jesus, our Savior, is much the same.
God’s work, however, at this moment in history is active and deserves an active response.  He put on Human flesh; He came to dwell among us.  This action single-handedly begins a march toward the cross, the grave, and the resurrection that paves the way for our salvation.  It isn’t a peripheral element of the season.  The incarnation is not just another news story.  God, the eternal, all-powerful, creator of the universe, came to earth for us!
How should we respond?  How will you respond?  What action is God calling you to take here and when will you make that move?  Will you tell others?


God, our Father,
In Jesus Christ, you acted on our behalf.
You opened the way to redemption, reconciliation, and salvation for us.
What was once impossible for us is now possible through You.
We confess, Lord, that this great reality is often placed on the periphery of our lives.
Rather than being our focus, Jesus is just another aspect,
reduced to one of the many things we have in our lives.
Help us to not ignore the great truth or significance of Your saving love,
so that we may live into it and speak out about it,
that others may see and hear and be amazed by You.
In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

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