Covenant Weekly - December 5, 2017
December 5, 2017
The specific events leading to Jesus' birth begin with an "angel of the Lord" appearing to Joseph in a dream (Matthew 1:20), the angel Gabriel showing up in Nazareth to talk to Mary (Luke 1:26-38), and some stargazers discerning events through the movements of celestial bodies (Matthew 2:1-2).
Often, when considering how angels appeared, we jump to images like what the shepherds witnessed in Luke 2, when it says, "the glory of the Lord shone around them!" But that kind of visible glory wasn't present for Joseph, Mary, or the Magi. In each case, hearing the voice of God required the listener to be paying attention to what was going on. Joseph had to be free enough of the clutter of life to sleep deeply, receive the dream, and consider it. Mary had to be willing to listen to the words of this strange man with a strange message. The wise men needed to be paying attention to the world around them.
I recently filled out our family calendar for December and was shocked (and somewhat embarrassed) at how few days had nothing scheduled on it. I don't think I'm alone in that. During this time of year, we can get running so hard and so fast that we barely catch our breath. I have to ask myself if God showed up to speak to me would I even be quiet enough to hear him? Am I sleeping long enough for him to speak to me in a dream? Am I taking the time to listen to others enough that I could hear him speak through them? Am I moving slowly enough to see the world around me for signs of God speaking? Is there enough margin in my life to allow me to rest, be still, and hear the voice of God?
Or am I
Advent is a time of waiting. Not waiting for a tree and gifts. Not waiting for parties and family gatherings. Advent is a time of waiting for God . . . waiting for God to show up and break into our world. But when he does will we be quiet enough to hear him?
In the rush of this month, I need to intentionally build into my schedule times of quiet . . . each day and each week. If I don't I won't be able to hear God speaking - speaking his love, his peace, his joy, and his hope - into my life and into my heart. And this means I won't be equipped well to speak it into the lives of others.
So how about you? How busy are you this season? Let me encourage you to intentionally plan for times of rest and quiet so that when God speaks in his still small voice, in whatever way he decides to speak to you, you will be ready to hear him and feel him and to respond. If you do, I'm convinced you'll be in a far better place to enjoy the wonderful activities of this season.