Good afternoon, beloved of God,
I have been meditating on a few Scriptures this morning and thought I would pass along prose to ponder:
1) Our Lord was born in Bethlehem, which means ‘the house of bread’. What a prophetic picture is given when the infant Jesus, the Bread of Life (Jhn.6:48-51), is placed in a feed trough/ manger in that very town. Indeed, it is necessary for all of God’s flock to partake of the Bread of Life (Jhn.6:53-56).
2) The Greek word translated ‘shepherd’ is Poimēn. This word is also translated ‘pastor’ (Eph.4:11), as the gift of pastoring requires caring for and feeding God’s flock. In the angel’s announcement of where the Messiah, the Bread of Life, was to be found, a very specific sign was given; they were looking for a Newborn lying in a feed trough. Now that is specific …. and unique. But there were no GPS coordinates to guide them. So these shepherds headed to town frantically looking for a ‘Baby in a barn’. And sure enough, they eventually found Him … and after they did, their excitement over Who they found was shared with many. They then returned to the fields “… glorifying and praising God …”(Luke 2:20) concerning the evening’s events.
What strikes me is that the angel’s directions were specific, and yet vague. We know those angels knew exactly where their King was born; … they could have cut down on the search time if they had given better directions. But the intent was to have the shepherds search for the true Bread of Life. As a shepherd/ pastor, one can find edible treats on almost every street corner. There are physical and spiritual donut shops, candy stores, and coffee bistros all over the place. But I think our God is pleased with those who search diligently for the best ‘food’ for the flock. In Prov.25:2, it reads, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search a thing out.”(AMP). Intimate discoveries of the mysteries of God and His Kingdom just draw the searcher closer to the Source of all knowledge and wisdom. That’s why the verse from Heb.11:6 is one of my favorites: “… He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Searching for good ‘food’ is not just a ‘pastor-thing’; …. it is something that the whole body of Christ should do. Eat a healthy diet, …. not just the dainties.
3) “Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven – a heavenly knighthood – praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased – men of good will …” (Luke 2:13,14 AMP). We are to note the order of the ‘knighthood’s’ praising; …first, giving glory and deference to God Almighty, … and then ‘peace on earth’ has a chance. ‘Peace’ came in the form of His Son incarnate, Who will, through His death and resurrection, make peace possible between God and the repentant, born-again believer. But Jesus Himself said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matt.10:34 AMP). Jesus knew His Father was not going to be glorified or honored by the folk of earth; … they were going to kill His Son and continue their rebellion by blaspheming the Holy Spirit’s work through Christ’s church. ‘Peace-on-earth‘ without ‘every-knee-bowing-and-every-
tongue-confessing’ is a pipe-dream. Longfellow had it right when he penned:
“And in despair I bowed my head; ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said, ‘For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, good-will to men.’ ” The hate that ‘is strong’ is the hatred the unsaved have toward God and His Righteousness, … not our fellow man; … that is only a symptom of man’s hatred of God. ‘Peace on earth’ only happens when God is uniformly and unanimously lifted up and glorified; ….
“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: ‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the Right prevail, with peace on earth, good-will to men’ “.
It’s coming …. and so is He!
“Let the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful!” (Col.3:15)