Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Advent 30 Day Retreat: Week 3 Day 17

Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart.
By Susanne Timpani

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. (Luke 2:8-9)

St Michael's church, Framlingham, Suffolk
circa 1914

 An experienced shepherd would have been well aware of the out of the ordinary things which might happen as they kept watch over their flock at night. They would be on their guard so that wolves or other predators could not attack, and so that none of their sheep went astray.

So when the angel of the Lord appeared that night, they were understandably out of their comfort zone. This was clearly not a usual occurrence in the life of a shepherd.

Often in our lives we are faced with the unexpected, things happen that don’t quite fit our plan or definition of the way life should be. We, like the shepherds may be terrified, unsure how to make sense of what has surprised us so suddenly and unexpectedly.

Yet we know that as the story progresses, the lives of  the shepherds are transformed. the same can be true for us: God invites us to be open to being surprised and to step outside our comfort zones so that we might be drawn closer to Him. 

Lord, we pray that you would help us recognise and be open to the unexpected.