Emmanuel is on the Job

December 21, 2014

Emmanuel is on the job with us

Today's Scripture: Luke 2:8-20

Daily Scripture Readings & Reflections

  1. Sunday: Luke 2:8-9 (CEB) Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.

    Reflection: In the Christmas story, it tells us that the shepherds were doing their nightly job – guarding the sheep. Yet, right in the middle of their nightly duties something remarkable happened - they encountered a messenger from God. How strange or normal is it for you to think that you might encounter a messenger of God on the job? If you have ever encountered a messenger of God, not with wings but flesh, what was the message you needed to hear?

    Breath Prayer: God is as close as our breath. (Inhale) – Faith, hope and love abide (Exhale) – The greatest of these is love

  2. Monday: Luke 2:10-11 (CEB) The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you – wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.”

    Reflection: In the Bible, messengers of God are more often than not telling people to not be afraid and yet it seems that most of us are afraid to hear a message from God. What would be your first response if someone told you they had a message for you from God? Why would you have that response? If God is love, then why are we, if we are, afraid to hear from God?

    Breath Prayer: God is as close as our breath. (Inhale) – Faith, hope and love abide (Exhale) – The greatest of these is love

  3. Tuesday: Luke 2:12 (CEB) “This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.”

    Reflection: Signs and symbols are great reminders of God’s love. For the shepherds, the sign of the newborn baby was the sign they needed to see in order to validate that what the angel had said to them was indeed true. What signs do you have that validate the love of Jesus for you?

    Breath Prayer: God is as close as our breath. (Inhale) – Faith, hope and love abide (Exhale) – The greatest of these is love

  4. Wednesday:  Luke 2:13-14 (CEB) Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors.”

    Reflection:Here the heavens and the earth become one. The glory of God was in the heavens and yet it was only seen because of the promise of peace on earth. This is the beauty of the Christmas story – God in the heavens becoming the Prince of Peace on earth. It is truly a both/and encounter with God. How do you see the heavenly and earthly revealing the fullness of God’s love for you?

    Breath Prayer: God is as close as our breath. (Inhale) – Faith, hope and love abide (Exhale) – The greatest of these is love

  5. Thursday: Luke 2:15 (CEB) When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.”

    Reflection: Sometimes the good news of God is so unbelievably good that we have to see it to believe it. At times, our foresight just can’t take in the goodness of God. Many times, it is our hindsight that proves to us the unconditional love of God. We look back and see the love of God for sure. Can you name a time when your foresight said, “No way that can be true,” and yet, when you got to the other side of the experience, your hindsight said, “Wow! Truly that was the unconditional love of God at work?” If so, how has that strengthened or not strengthened your trust in God? Even with our hindsight confirmations of God’s love, why is our foresight so distrustful at times?

    Breath Prayer: God is as close as our breath. (Inhale) – Faith, hope and love abide (Exhale) – The greatest of these is love

  6. Friday: Luke 2:16-17 They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child.

    Reflection: The shepherds were so excited by their experience of the angel, what they heard, and then what they saw in the baby Jesus, that they couldn’t keep it to themselves.  Is there any experience that you have had with God that would be similar to the shepherds – it was so amazing that you had to tell somebody about it? How comfortable or uncomfortable do you feel sharing such experiences? Why?

    Breath Prayer: God is as close as our breath. (Inhale) – Faith, hope and love abide (Exhale) – The greatest of these is love

  7. Saturday: Luke 2:18-19 Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.

    Reflection: We may feel at times that no one is really interested in our story. Our story doesn’t seem to be that exciting. Our story doesn’t appear to be so clearly connected with God’s story. And yet, experience tells us that most people are interested in hearing our stories. Stories are the currency of relationships. Stories break down walls and stories connect us as fellow human beings. What big or little story do you have to tell others this Christmas season? What would have happened if the shepherds had never told their story? What might happen or not happen if you don’t tell yours?

    Breath Prayer: God is as close as our breath. (Inhale) – Faith, hope and love abide (Exhale) – The greatest of these is love

 

 
Speaker: Dave Norman