The First 15

Tuesday December 28, 2021

by Sharon Reid

Today is Tuesday, December 28, and this week we are exploring what the Bible says about finding Christ.

Opening Prayer

As I enter into prayer, I pause to be still, to slow down my breathing, and to be more fully present with God in these moments.

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, help me release my worries and concerns into your care as I rest with you in these moments of stillness. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I choose to reflect on God’s faithfulness and loving care, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 91.

Surely he will save you

from the fowler’s snare

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. – Psalm 91:3-4 NIV

Pause and Pray

Today I am reflecting on the story of the birth of Jesus and the experience of the shepherds who came from nearby fields to find him.

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. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. – Luke 2:8-18

Reflection

Three things I look for while reflecting on the scripture passage today.

Pilgrimage. A journey of seeking, often to a sacred place, as an act of devotion.

Incarnation. God became flesh and was born on earth as Jesus Christ, who was both fully human and fully divine.

Epiphany. The revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi. An epiphany is also a moment of sudden revelation or insight.

Unlike the Magi, the shepherds had only a short distance to travel to find Jesus, but theirs was a pilgrimage to a sacred place nonetheless.

The angel announces to the shepherds that “a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” The Greek translation of Messiah is Khristós (Χριστός), or in English Christ. Jesus Christ is God incarnate, God in the flesh.

Ask: Who do I notice experiencing an epiphany, or moment of sudden revelation, in this passage? When have I experienced an epiphany?

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, guide me in my thoughts and help me notice what you want me to see and hear as I slowly read the passage once more.

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. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. – Luke 2:8-18

Ask: What did the Holy Spirit guide me to notice this time as I read the passage?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me look inward and pay attention to what you have led me to see and hear. I invite you to transform me in these moments so that I might reflect the thoughts and actions of Jesus Christ throughout this day. Amen.

All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. – Psalm 86:9

Closing Prayer

Father, prepare me to live this day being faithful to you in every way. Jesus, help me serve others with your compassion and grace. Holy Spirit, transform my inner thoughts and motivations so that all I do, I do to please you. Amen.

The First 15

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