December 2016 | Advent Week 3

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them."
Luke 2:8-20

It's hard to understand what this moment must have been like.
We can imagine, and some movies might do it a little justice, but had we been there - what would it have been like for us?
What would it have been like if God had interrupted our lives, wherever we were, with the shining deliverance of His promised rescuer?

He still does it, you know.

He still interrupts our lives with the reminder that we've been rescued and He still interrupts the lives of people all over the world so that they can hear for the first time of the coming of a savior who has rescued and redeemed them.
Just like these shepherds with their heads down, working diligently at tending their sheep, only to have the God of the universe disrupt their night by sending an angel to tell of the Messiah that had come, God loves to disturb our lives with the radiant glory of who He is.

We should be thankful that He does, for nothing else will draw us towards Him like those moments.

It's those moments that reveal God's love for us, and in Luke 2, we see a glimpse of the nature of who our God is.

God reveals the coming of His Son, the savior of the entire world, to a group of shepherds. As our favorite children's Bible puts it, to "riff-raff", men who would have been unimportant. They certainly wouldn't have been the royalty that we might have expected God to reveal His Son to.

He chose shepherds.
He chose 'riff-raff'.

In the middle of our high-performance culture where pseudo-perfect lives are permanently displayed on social media, the truth about us is astounding.

We are all broken.  We are all "riff-raff".
None of us live the perfect lives we like to display to the world.
None of us.

Yet God still comes, no matter who we are, and He rescues. It's what He does. It's why He is who He is.

God didn't wait on anyone else. He chose the time and moment for Jesus to come and He orchestrated everything else to serve that purpose.
The shepherds had sheep to tend, Mary and Joseph had a family to begin, the magi had things to ponder.

God delivers his promises of rescue whenever He desires.

This is amazing news for us.
It means that God's rescue can come to us regardless of our age or how much we know.
It can come for the drug addict, the prostitute, the thief, the liar. It can come for the adulterer, the cheater, the fool.

God's rescue isn't dependent on us, but on Him.
It comes when He desires for it to. Even if that is right now.

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son..." Galatians 4:4