A Christmas {and a New Year’s} Dare

  • December 25, 2012
  • Blog

I dare you (and me) to really live full of Joy.

And just what is Joy?  The supernatural delight and deep satisfaction in God for the sheer beauty and worth of who He is.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the LORD appeared to them and the glory of the LORD shone around them and they were terrified.  But the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid.  I bring you GOOD NEWS of GREAT JOY for all the people.”

  • Shepherds living out in the fields: This was their portion, their assignment
  • At night: During the darkness, the pitch black
  • An angel of the LORD appeared…and the glory of the LORD shone: In the midst of their ordinary, their routine…Glory was revealed.
  • And they were terrified: When the routine and ordinary-familiar was interrupted by the very Presence of the LORD, a sense of fear crept in and began to distract the shepherds
  • Do not be afraid: But, the Good Shepherd’s love and tender mercies quickly dispel their fears
  • GOOD NEWS: The only news that really matters, ever…that Jesus our Savior (has and) is coming!
  • Great JOY: In faith’s fearless pursuit of the richest of Treasures, JOY comes wrapped in the un-likely, the un-attractive, and the un-imaginable
  • For all the people: When we encounter Joy, the Good News overflows through us into others’ living

Sometimes, the boundary lines of our portions, our assignments, seem to b-u-l-g-e with the ordinary and mundane.  Other times, they seem to be stretched with the overwhelming, the exhausting, the numbing and disheartening.  These lines cannot be avoided, for they are simply a part of LIVING

Just like the shepherds.  They were living out in the fields of their portion, their assignment.  There was nothing grand or exciting about watching sheep, except maybe the glow of stars in the pitch dark of night’s covering. 

And this makes me think of Jesus, His living and dying.  Not that either one were ordinary or void of the amazing and the miraculous.  Rather, Jesus’ LIVING gifted Glory.

Glory happened as He was going here or there, loving on this person or that…just doing what His life required.  He was continually stretched by Grace … as He lived and moved and fulfilled His God-ordained assignment, whether at a wedding feast adorned with the miraculous or in the midnight hour of agonizing suffering.

When the shepherds encountered Glory, they.were.terrified.  I would have been too.  It is a daunting thing to be exposed by the Light…especially in the ordinary, sometimes not-so-great moments of living out our portions.  It is in this place that we cannot hide…I am just me.  You are just you.  And, like Paul, I do what I do not want to do and I do not do what I want to do.  Impatience. Pride. Selfishness. Discontentment. Fear.











Fear.  This is what was exposed in the shepherd’s living.  Maybe it was the fear of a wolf’s attack, a chaotic eruption, or losing one of their beloved sheep. They were living on edge. 

 I too live on edge…afraid of failure, afraid of not being liked, afraid of letting go {fully}.  Surrender is dangerous. (Kay Warren, Dangerous Surrender)

The God of all Glory may just {dare} to interrupt our living with GREAT JOY.  He may just refresh our hearts with the GOOD NEWS of Jesus.  “Do not be afraid.”  That’s what the angel Gabriel told these unlikely candidates.  It was the unimaginable.  There really was good news of great joy living right there in the stinky, sheepish, and ordinary.  Because that’s when Glory happens…just like the baby King born in an unlikely manner, in an unattractive manger.  God in flesh becoming the unimaginable manna, for His lost and starving sheep.

Then what?  The shepherds, forever changed by the Good News, went with haste…because Glory compels and Joy waits for “all the people”.

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died.  And he died for all, that those who LIVE should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again…We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors…” (2 Cor. 5:14-21)

{I dare you to} let Joy “interrupt” your Christmas, and every.single.day of your living. 

What will His Glory reveal?

Because of His Great Love,