An ordinary night.

“Praise the Lord.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare his praise?  Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.  Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them, that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise.” Psalm 106:1-5

Except for Joseph, Mary and donkey, this day started out to be just another ordinary day on the path to Bethlehem.  Perhaps the Baby did a few more kicks and stretches to alert His mother that this was THE DAY.  I recently read a devotion from Max Lucado and his words described that ordinary night so beautifully; “There’s one word that describes the night Jesus came; ordinary.  It was an ordinary night with ordinary sheep and ordinary shepherds.  And were it not for a God who loves to hook an “extra” on the front of the ordinary; the night would have gone unnoticed.  But God dances amidst the common and that night He did a waltz.  And the night was ordinary no more!  The announcement went first to the shepherds.  They didn’t ask God if He was sure He knew what He was doing.  Theologians would have consulted their commentaries.  The elite would have looked to see if anyone was watching.  The successful would have first looked to their calendars.  But the angels went to the shepherds.  Men who didn’t know enough to tell God that Messiah’s aren’t found sleeping in a feed trough.  God comes to the common; because His most powerful tools are the simplest!”  You and this man and his daughter and me are not ordinary and perhaps we too are simple, like the shepherds on that ordinary night.  We need to keep our senses awake and ready to serve His call for our lives…on this side of Heaven.  I am closing this Christmas Eve with the words from the hymn ‘Love Divine, All Love Excelling’ that were written by Charles Wesley in 1747.

“Love Divine, all love excelling, Joy of heaven, to earth come down, fix in us Thy humble dwelling, all Thy faithful mercies crown.  Jesus, Thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love Thou art; visit us with Thy salvation, enter every trembling heart.  Breathe, oh, breathe Thy loving Spirit into every troubled breast; let us all in Thee inherit, let us find the promised rest.  Take away the love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be; end of faith as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty.  Come, Almighty, to deliver; let us all Thy life receive.  Suddenly return and never, nevermore, Thy temples leave.  Thee we would be always blessings, serve Thee as Thy hosts above, pray and praise Thee without ceasing, Glory in Thy perfect love.  Finish, then, Thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be.  Let us see Thy great salvation perfectly restored in Thee, changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place, till we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

May God be with you…Jay