The Advent prayer for Thursday, December 1, 2002, comes to us from: Hark the Herald Angels Sing: Daily Prayers for Advent.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
Luke 2:9 NIV
Can you remember the last time you were terrified? Dictionary.com defines the word terrified as: to fill with terror (intense, sharp, overmastering fear) or alarm; to make greatly afraid. Our scripture verse tells us the shepherds were terrified of the angelic messenger, but their terror did not prevent them from hearing the “the good news that brought great joy” (see Luke 2:10). The shepherds overcame being terrified and journeyed to see the Christ child. Luke 2:16-18 NIV states:
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
The shepherds shifted from being terrified, to being among the first who testified about the birth of Christ. As people of faith, God often asks us to do things that make us uncomfortable and sometimes terrify us. We often offer a laundry list of reasons why we cannot accomplish the task or why God should choose someone else. Yet, what the story of the shepherds highlights for us is what can happen when we overcome our fears, move past feeling terrified, to have an encounter with God that changes our lives forever.
Fifth Day of Advent Prayer
O Lord, your glory is so great, the shepherds were filled with fear. We read repeatedly about how awesome your presence is, that even your angels make people react with fear. We humble people can’t imagine your glory. We can’t begin to know what it will be like to be in your presence in heaven. Help us, Lord, to look forward to eternity with you and all believers, basking in the glory and love of our Savior, Jesus. Amen.