Week 52 Sunday
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.’”
Luke 2: 9-11
King James Version
“Heaven’s Glory Comes to Earth”
“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”
What emotions fill my heart this Christmas season?
How and where will I look for God’s glory to fill the earth?
“O the strength of infant weakness, if eternal is so young.
God all-bounteous, all creative,
Whom no ills from good dissuade,
Is incarnate and a native:
Of the very world He made.”
“Glory” – “Great honor, praise and distinction, reflecting the splendor and perfect happiness of heaven.”
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.”
Isaiah 6: 3
Here at Transformation Garden we are studying the Bible from beginning to end – Genesis to Revelation. Every time we come to a story about a woman, named or unnamed, we stop and study about her life.
However, for the next few weeks, I want to divert from our regular studies on the lives of women and instead focus on devotional messages which tell of heaven’s gift of Jesus to this earth.
Every year, the world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ on a holiday we call Christmas. Amid all the glitter and tinsel, it is easy for our vision to become distracted from the real meaning of this annual celebration.
And so I want to look at the great gift of Jesus Christ we have been given and the eternal blessings this gift has brought into your life and mine.
This has been a very tough year for all of us. The financial world has imploded in a way few of us could ever have imagined. For many of us, our health has continued to challenge us on a daily basis. Many individuals have suffered the loss of a job and this situation has left them adrift. While for others, the loss of a loved one has blanketed you in inconsolable grief. Sadly, 2014 has been a harsh year, as I’m certain you can attest to.
This is why I feel so impressed to bring you some good news as the year draws to a close.
While shepherds were in the field watching their sheep, nearly 2000 years ago, the Bible says the angel of the Lord appeared. This was an unexpected event, and the response of the shepherds was absolutely normal. We are told they were, “afraid.” As I read this text, I thought about how normal it is today to be afraid. I find myself afraid at times and I’m certain you do, too!
But I have to tell you, my fear completely lifted as I read the words of the prophet Isaiah which encourages us with the reminder that, “The whole earth is full of the glory of the Lord” (Isaiah 6: 3).
So often, the reason I am afraid is that I forget to recognize that Christ my Lord is filling every corner of this earth with His glory – all I need to do is look for it. And it is my prayer, that amid the continual sounds of Christmas bells and sights of holly-filled windows and jolly Santas, your eyes and mine will see clearly the glory – the splendor of heaven’s unlimited and unending gift of love to this earth, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our Affirmation today comes from the words of a very familiar Christmas carol, It Came Upon The Midnight Clear. But I hope as you sing or hum this tune, the words to this song will help you reflect on God’s gift of glory to each one of us.
“It Came Upon The Midnight Clear”
“It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold;
“Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing.
And ever o’er its Babel-sounds
The blessed angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the heavenly hymn have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And warring humankind hears not
The tidings which they bring
O hush the noise and cease your strife
And hear the angels sing.
For lo! The days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And all the world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus