Devotion by Donia Hovet
I love to vacuum. It’s just so satisfying. Pleasing lines form on the carpet as you move back and forth. There is a distinct crackling sound as crumbs shoot up through the hose and into the canister. The results are IMMEDIATE and satisfying. Also, it’s not gross like cleaning the toilet. But sometimes, as I’m happily going about my vacuuming business, the cord gets pulled from the socket and I’m interrupted by a sudden loss of power. It’s jarring and not just a little annoying.
This past Sunday, we read Luke 2:8-20 which describes the jarring disruption some lowly shepherds experienced when Jesus came to earth. But instead of a LOSS of power, they experienced the surges of the LORD of Heaven’s armies in chorus! As I reflected on this well-known passage, something profound dawned on me about those shepherds. After the pandemonium of angels usurped their routine night shift; after they visited Mary, Joseph and Jesus; after they told everyone about their experience; the shepherds simply WENT BACK TO THEIR FLOCKS. Talk about an anticlimactic end!
God didn’t call them to anything extraordinary in the wake of his interruption. They were faithful workers who were called to continue being faithful right where they were when the angels first showed up. Yet there WAS a profound change:
“The shepherds went back to their flocks, GLORIFYING and PRAISING God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.”Luke 2:20
Joyful praise emerged from the hearts of some ordinary Joes as they went back to their ordinary work. The shepherds had experienced heart change and a fresh awareness of God in action. They were jarred to attention, and In the wake of something momentous, the shepherds went back to their assignment PRAISING GOD.
Makes me think of a song we sing: “Let us become more aware of your presence. Let us experience the glory of your goodness.” The shepherds had indeed experienced the glory of God’s goodness and presence and it came back with them as they descended into the fields.
Could it be that one of the most profound outcomes of God’s intervention is simply allowing Him into the ordinary parts of our lives? Could it be that a heightened desire to praise Him and include Him would make any assignment (even a night shift out in the open with a bunch of sheep) worth doing faithfully? I think so. I think maybe God wants us to be like those shepherds: faithful to where we are at, faithful to what we are called to right now. Just praising him a LOT more!
I’ll try to remember that next time I’m vacuuming.
- Define faithfulness in your own words. Then look it up and write down the definition.
- What are your most important roles right now? How is your faithfulness bringing glory to God?
- In what areas of your life are you resisting being faithful? What are some next steps to stay the course?
- READ: James 1:2-8
- What challenges are you facing that God wants to use to grow your endurance? What are your next steps toward faithfulness where you are at right now? Be specific.
- James describes our divided loyalty between God and the world. In what ways does God have your loyalty? In what ways does the world have your loyalty? How does this affect your ability to be faithful where you are right now?
- PRAY: Ask God for the wisdom and endurance to remain faithful.