"That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!" -Luke 2:8-11
Several years ago, Rick Warren came out with a major bestseller entitled The Purpose Driven Life. It is a phenomenal book that God used to spiritually revive churches, small groups and individuals. In it, we learned that "It's not about me." True. In our "Have it Your Way" mentality, we do, at times, act, think and believe we are entitled to what we want, when we want it. Yet I, for one, missed a huge truth. While it's not all about me, I have learned that, through God's eyes and His heart spoken in His very Word, for Him, it is all about us. It. Is. All. About. Us.
God and us, that is. A profound, mind-boggling relationship that He designed. When I stop to consider all that He is...how great, how mighty, how loving, how forgiving, I simply have to stop before my heart bursts with wonder and awe at how He could love me so. Yet from the moment that Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden and He called out to them "Where are you?" He has fervently pursuited us. His passionate pursuit of us was the impetus for His ultimate sacrificial plan of salvation.
This plan started out with a sweet baby's cry that summoned angels to sing Glory to God in the Highest! The same angels who were heartbroken on crucifixion day. The same angels who victoriously leapt and danced with joy on resurrection day. Meager beginning. Horrific sacrificing. Triumphant ending. Creation, Crucifixion and Resurrection collide and explode, forming God's New Covenant with and for us...Jesus, our Salvation, was born to us. Not just some of us. All of us.
Salvation wrapped in swaddling cloths was born for all people...from heathen shepherds to orient kings...from those we study the Bible and Worship God with on Sunday mornings to those who desecrate dimly lit alleys or stand on street corners or lie in cheap motels. God's love story, written to us, beautifully speaks of God's love for us.
I'm thoroughly convinced it is all about us...God and us.
As passionately as He pursuited you and I, there are others He longs to rescue. You know, after the shepherds went to see Baby Jesus, we are told they did four things:
1) they told EVERYONE what they had seen and heard and what the angel had told them about Baby Jesus;
2) they went back to shepherding
3) they glorified God
4) they praised God...for all the things they had seen and heard.
So, where are the rest of us? How do we find them? What do we say or do when we find them?
Father God, thank you for making a way to come to us and be with us. Though we are undeserving and unworthy, through the gift of your sweet Salvation, Jesus Christ our Lord, you have made a way for us to be with you forever. We know there are others your heart is burning to redeem. Allow us the privilege and honor of passionately joining you in your pursuit of "the rest of us." Give us enthusiastic courage to tell everyone what we have seen and heard so that you may be glorified and praised! In the beautiful name of your Son, Jesus, Amen.