Some Final Ponderings

by Carolyn Hope

The past two weeks, we’ve observed several different pieces in the story of our Savior’s birth. We’ve read about shepherds, prophets, and angels. We’ve seen individual characters such as Elizabeth and Mary. There are many parts to play in such a momentous birth, a birth that shook the world.

I’d like to leave you this week with a few thoughts:

  1. God took the lowliest and the least and used them in mighty ways. Shepherds were outcasts; angels were often unseen; the prophets were rejected. Mary was ordinary; Elizabeth was old. Every character had multiple reasons for disqualification, yet God never considered those. He chose them, and He chooses you too. When God calls you, nothing can disqualify you. You yourself are enough for the journey He is leading you on.
  2. One ordinary night became an encounter. At an unexpected time and an unexpected place, God showed up. What started as a normal day became a day that changed history. You never know what today could bring. Stay expectant and stay hopeful. Wake up each morning eager to see all that God will do. He is working and moving on your behalf. Today could be the day that everything changes.
  3. God’s plan for your life is greater and more risky than you could ever imagine. Mary and Joseph’s calling to be the parents of the Christ was incredibly dangerous; yet they were never unsafe as they followed the Lord. There will be great risk in your story, and there will even be danger. Do not let those facts deter you or frighten you, for your God is with you through every moment. He will protect you and fight for you through it all.

I hope you have had a very Merry Christmas!

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Extras: Shepherds

by Carolyn Hope

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 of great joy that will be for all the people …” 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. (Luke 2:8-10, 16-18)

An ordinary night became an encounter.

The shepherds were caring for their sheep, like any other night. They had no idea that it was the fated night of the Savior’s birth. Then in one moment, everything changed. Normal became extraordinary, and what was a typical work night became an unforgettable evening that the world would marvel about for ages to come.

It’s so very sweet of our King to share the good news of Jesus’ coming first with shepherds. They were common, unimpressive, dirty, and looked down upon. God, in His incredible way, took the outcasts and the lowliest of society and made them the heralds to announce the coming of a new king!

I want to encourage you to be expectant. You might have woken up today like any other day, but today could be a day of life-changing encounter. Every day is full of beautiful potential and is tingling with destiny. Today could be the day where the miracle comes. Today could be the day when God calls you to something new. Today could be the day when revelation washes over your heart. Today could be the day …

No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what others think of you, God has a plan and purpose for you. His dream for your life is far greater than you can understand, and it will blow your mind to see where He takes you. Do not discount yourself because of your background, your status, or your past. Jesus loves you immeasurably, and He wants to do amazing exploits in the earth through you.

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