Sunday, December 13, 2009

Encountering Jesus

Luke 2:17-18, 20 “The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Luke 2:28 “Then he [Simeon] took him [Jesus] in his arms, and blessed God,

Luke 2:38 “At that very moment she [Anna] came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When reading through Luke’s account of those that celebrated the birth of Jesus along with Mary and Joseph, we often separate the shepherds’ story from that of Simeon and Anna. We take them by chunks. But just the other day I found it interesting to read them straight on through. I guess you see what I saw in the highlighted passages above. Each one that encountered Jesus responded with praise, thanksgiving, and blessing to God.

Isn’t that fascinating? And yet it’s a bit disconcerting, too. After all, because of Jesus’ later death and resurrection, we encounter Jesus every day of our lives. And how do we respond? Often with complacency. It becomes a familiar thing. Kind of like the celebration of Christmas.

I mean really—how many years ago did you stop thinking about the words to the Christmas carols you sing in church in December? I know I have been guilty of going through those motions. My lips sing the words while my wanders elsewhere.

 Christmas is the celebration of the world’s first encounter with Jesus. Of the beginning of what becomes our salvation. And doesn’t that deserve praise and glory and blessing and thanks to God, no matter how many times we have expressed it before?

Have you already had a surprising encounter with Jesus this December? Did it spur you to spout a spontaneous praise of glory and blessing and thanks to God? Tell us about it, so that we can glorify God in the highest together!


  1. My surprising encounter with Jesus this December has been with peace in the midst of chaos. Both my boys are playing varsity basketball (small school) and I am the team mom. Couple that with having to do our Christmas with the kids early, getting things ready for them to go on a mission trip, my daughter coming home from college, trying to get my manuscript finished and sent, and critiquing a short book for one of my crit partners, and getting ready to travel, this December has been crazy! But I can feel the Lord teaching me patience. And in the that patience and trust in His timing, comes peace.

    And every time I recognize the peace that defies explanation, it spurs me to glorify the Prince of Peace. Without Him, I wouldn't survive intact!

  2. Hey D'Ann,
    I love your thoughts on encountering Jesus. I slept in today and decided to go to church tonight. I didn't leave my pillow for about an hour after I woke up. I just snuggled under the covers and thanked God for the changes I've seen happening this month and throught the past year.

    Too long to list here, but including blessings I didn't expect related to family, my writing, and understanding a little bit more about the direction I should take in my life.

    Thanks for this special post, D'Ann. I really enjoyed it.

  3. This was a hard question. I've been thinking about it all day. My answer is a little bit personal, but there's an area of my life that I've been struggling with understanding, and God gave me a dream the other night that took away a lot of the angst and helped give me some closure. That was a huge blessing.

    Great post, D'Ann. Thanks.

  4. Hi D'Ann,
    I have to say that I so love the Christmas hymns that they often bring me to tears. I'm not talking Grandma got run over by a Reindeer. I love the words of the hymns.

    I think being involved for many years in Christmas plays helped too. Trying to get the kids to 'act' their parts by encouraging them to really imagine what that person was feeling.

  5. Thanks, y'all, for slowing down and taking a minute to think about what this season really means to us! May your days be full of His joy and light throughout this Christmas season.

  6. Another lovely post, D'Ann. I'm ashamed to admit that I've been so busy this month that Jesus could have sat in my living room and I might not have noticed him! That's an exageration, of course. But your post reminds me the importance of slowing down and savoring what we're really celebrating. Bless you!

  7. Thanks, D'Ann. The Christmas carols are one of the best things I love about Christmas. I think it's because no matter which radio station I play or which store I go in, I can hear songs about Jesus' birth. And yet the day after Christmas, you aren't even allowed to say his name because it's not 'socially correct'.


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