Telling the story: Day nine
Please enjoy today's reflection from our September-December issue of New Daylight.
Telling the story
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Luke 2:15 - 21 (NRSV)
Gabriel has already told Mary that her child will be the ‘Son of the Most High’, ‘Son of God’ and ruler over Israel forever and that, conceived by the Holy Spirit, he will be holy. As if all that were not enough even to begin to grasp, the shepherds now add to those prophetic words: he is Saviour, Messiah, Lord – despite the fact that they will find him in the most unlikely place imaginable. Given that the most learned religious leaders will have their ideas of messiah overturned, what a challenge for Mary to hold on to these words in the face of all that will follow.
We can imagine the shepherds pouring out their story to the household gathered around the manger – such extraordinary events, such an extraordinary message! But an example, too, for us – to be open to hear from God, to act on what we believe we hear and then to tell the story. We are all called to be witnesses.
Luke tells us that Mary ‘treasured’ the shepherds’ words and ‘pondered’ them. This, too, is an example – to approach the word of God, written or spoken, with reverence and a willingness to take time to meditate and allow it to work deeply in us, like yeast raising us to new levels of faith, hope and love.
Lord, enable us not keep your word to ourselves but tell it like it is.
Written by SHEILA WALKER