Tonight as I write, I sit before my TV version of a crackling fire, the only type of fire afforded to us who live in small and borrowed spaces. I am comfortable and warm, the night is dark around me and all the household has gone to bed.
Was this like the night that the angels arrived? Quiet and cozy and oh-so hygge, that trendy Danish concept of winter comfort. Is this how the shepherd version of me would be, watching the fire crackle and spit, mesmerized by its glow? Come on a journey with me. A parallel journey with one step in the “Let us go” of my present day situation and another imagining the equivalent shepherd version of me, nestled within the “Let us go” of Luke 2:15.
Let us go and see this thing which the Lord has made known to us…
“Let us go” has always been pretty straightforward for me. Whether it was a side step into a new role of leadership or community care or language study, or a larger step into a new country, location or school, it has always been pretty simple to follow the directive of our Savior: go and reach out to others. Ever since I moved away for college my story has been built on leaving what is comfortable in order to trust the Father and his plan more fully.
But going is different this year. I don’t know why it is different today than it was during all those other switches and transitions. It shouldn’t be. I find myself going into something new and exciting: a job opportunity with potential to reach and serve some of the marginalized and needy of my city. A chance to be an integral part in the greater story of binding up the broken-hearted and welcoming the sojourner in the land. I see its goodness and breadth and yet, I keep asking myself, “Where has my faith gone?” Instead, this transition of large proportions with its looming unknowns and potential hardships of large responsibilities has pulled me into a spiral of self-doubt and all the while I cling to what is comfortable.
Sadly, I’m afraid that I am the shepherd in the back saying, “Do we really have to go so fast, guys?” I’m the one still looking around, the one whose terror has not died down yet. I’m looking at every pebble under my sandals and wondering what is ahead. I’m turning back and remembering the sweet grasses of what is comfortable and known in my nearby field, with the quiet hum of night noise there, where it is familiar and good! Where has my faith gone?
And they were terrified…
Let us go…
Throughout all the hesitation and uncertainty, I need not fear. Liz Kamper reminded us, “Don’t be afraid shepherdess” and encouraged us to look around and listen. So, with this community around me I can fix my mind and thoughts on the promises and news of a Savior. I’m glad that I am not alone. Thankfully I am still being quickened forward. I am still blinking the glow of angel fire from behind my eyelids and their extraordinary song is still ringing in my ears. My friends are tugging at my hand as we angle through the streets.
As I get closer and closer to this new thing, it is easier to let the angel’s admonishment against fear win out. It is the Lord who has made it known. It is easier to get swept up in the wonder of this thing that is happening and to find joy in the going. More and more often, “Let us go” is also on my lips. Most importantly, what I have to remember is that I have already been told what is ahead. There is certainty in this…
You will find Christ the Lord.
Priscilla Shirer writes in her book God is Able, “He’s always looking beyond the realm of our sight. He’s always thinking beyond the scope of our thoughts. He’s always mapping out a plan beyond the trajectory of our ambitions. He’s always working out a miracle that transcends the farthest reaches of our imagination.” That precious night when our Savior was born, God made known a part of his gospel plan. Today, I can be encouraged that his plan is good in my life, even when I can’t quite see the entirety of it yet.
So look to the miracle, sister shepherdess. Let the angel’s announcement be emblazoned on your hearts. Go, my friend. Go without hesitancy and see God’s part in your story.
Where are you in the journey to see Jesus today? How is “let us go” unique for you this year? What do you need to preach to yourself today in order to better follow the good news of Jesus?