Welcome to Day 6 of Chapter 4 from Arise & Shine’s Part 7. Today, Bettie is bringing forward our sixth free will offering of The Hidden Manna in Christ Revealed. We invite you to read an excerpt from Bettie and then to join her over at her blog to read her whole(-hearted) offering.
The Stillness of the first Snow
ushers in the Pause,
The Pause of Advent,
When waiting hovers all around
And Mystery calls out to me.
And the Ancient Words
flutter down through time,
words we memorize as children
become so familiar
that we miss the meaning
lose the mystery.
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 to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’”Luke 2:8-11 NIV
I wonder how dark the night was as they watched their sheep. The darkness seems very deep around my soul, around the souls of many that I love right now.
Who is keeping watch?
Who is guarding the sheep this night?
I have a feeling that no amount of training could have prepared them for the explosion of mystery that rang around them and brought them to their knees on THAT NIGHT.
Who was watching the sheep then?
And where was BRAVE when the sky fell down around them?
My heart is heavy
for those who watch the sky falling
and find their faces on the ground.
My heart is heavy
From the overshadowing
glory falling all around
Answers to my desperate cries for mercy.
My heart now beats akin with shepherds
The angel’s first words make so much more sense to me now. Unless the sky has fallen around you, you cannot feel the weight of those words:
“Do not be afraid”
And unless you have felt the weight being lifted off your shoulders as the Mystery of God Coming to Earth envelops you, you cannot see the beauty:
Grace in a Shepherd, Mercy for the sheep.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:7, 9-10
As my husband trusted his Good Shepherd’s leading and took an early retirement last month, I too have heard my Great Shepherd’s asking for my bowing down. Here in this place of mystery, we both have heard His call yet again.
Throughout this past year as I’ve shared Our Story, I’ve seen the parallels between then and now. Coincidence? Hardly. Our Shepherd knows the need of His sheep so much better than we know ourselves.
Only He could have … come join Bettie over at bettiegsraseasons.com to read to the end.