Thursday, December 3, 2015

What's Around Us?

Ever  feel insignificant?  I have.  I watch the achievements of people around me and I'm amazed.  I could never do anything like them or be a part of something as significant as what they are doing.  So I shrink into the landscape and just do what I do each day.

Shepherd's Field adjacent to Bethlehem
That may be how the shepherds felt.  They helped raise the lambs that were slaughtered for the sacrifices at the Temple.  But because of what they did they were not even allowed to go near the Temple when they delivered their lambs.  They were considered unclean.  Outcasts.  Looked down upon by the religious elites.  So they spent their lives under the stars praising and worshiping God. And they joined in heart with other people of faith in desiring to see their Messiah come.

A well in the Shepherd's Field
Suddenly, the sky lit up and a whole angel army filled it.  Where did they come from?  They never experienced that before.  And the head angel tells them that they came to tell them good news of great joy that will be for everyone.  They had never seen angels before.  But they were there.  The shepherds had not felt that they were significant before, but God was choosing them to proclaim that His Son had been born.  And they were invited to go and see.  They did.  And it says that they returned rejoicing and praising God for all that they had seen just as it had been told them.  Notice it wasn't the religious elites that got the invite.  God chose simple folks to share the news.

Later, the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Our significance is found in Jesus, not in comparison with other people.  If no one else thinks we are significant or gifted or special, God does.  God places high value on people who know they are foolish, weak, lowly and despised.  It is in them that He can display His power, wisdom and strength.

Two thoughts for the day:

1.   No matter how you feel in comparison to others, you are significant to the Lord who created you.

2.  God is always surrounding us with powerful servants who do His bidding even when we don't see them.  He says they encamp around those who fear Him.  So when you feel isolated, alone, overwhelmed or fearful, you have angels watching over you.

How significant are you feeling today?  What are you basing your significance on?

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