Luke 2:8-20—“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.’ Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.’ When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.”
The Church is supposed to live with a sense of awe like that of the shepherds—God is with us! When the power of God gets a hold of someone, they began to astonish people. God can take someone from any background and use them for His purpose; astonishing the people who thought they could never change.
A story becomes astonishing when it moves from fear to faith. The shepherds had to have faith that this angel was actually telling the truth. They were willing to have their schedules rearranged, their routines interrupted, so they could exercise their faith. We can’t get by on just religious routines; to see God do astonishing things through our lives, we have to live by faith.
No one expected Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to be born in a feed trough, in a manger, wrapped in bits of cloth. God can birth something new in an unlikely way, place, or circumstance, and that is astonishing. What seems to be impossible—a King born in a manger—can be possible if God deems that it is possible. We think that God will only show up in certain ways, but that just puts Him in a box. He is not limited by what we think He can or will do. He can use the simplest, most unlikely things to reach someone.
God loves diversity! He uses all types of people; there is no one He cannot use. When we recognize that the story includes us, not just them, we become a part of an astonishing plan that God has had in place since the beginning of time. Don’t just leave it up to your preacher, your neighbor, or your small group leader. God didn’t create any of us to just sit and watch. He wants to use your story in an astonishing way!
Watch week two of our winter series No Thanks Here
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