All heaven praises God

Date: Friday, November 29

ScriptureLuke 2:8-15

Verse: And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2:13-14)

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Several months ago a group of our youth traveled to Loveland to help with some of the flood recovery there. We were assigned to work with a family who owned a landscaping company. Much of their property had been ruined by the rising waters which had deposited a layer of mud about 3 feet deep all over their property. One of our jobs was to carefully dig out the concrete nativity set that had occupied a portion of their yard. We could see the tops of the heads of a few of the statues, while some, we trusted, were completely buried. After a couple of hours work, we had uncovered the entire nativity set, including the statue of the baby Jesus covered in mud.

I found in that statue a great symbol of Jesus’ presence with us, even when we miss it. I wondered how many people had driven by that business and through the rest of town, shaking their heads at the destruction, wondering why God had abandoned the people, wondering where he was in the midst of the mess. The truth was there in that statue. He hadn’t left, but was present in the midst of the struggle, even if we had missed him.

When the angels appeared to the shepherds, all of heaven was giving glory to God for the birth of Jesus, but most of the world missed the whole thing. They were in the cities going about their business, maybe wondering where God was in the midst of their suffering, maybe feeling he was far off and didn’t care. The truth was, and is, that he is right here among us.

The world isn’t always what it appears. It is not a place just filled with the mud of bad news. The angels came to announce “good news of great joy.” God is here! He is with us even in the mess.

Prayer: Help me, Holy Spirit, to find Jesus’ present in my life today. Amen.

Action: As you scan the news today, find some stories where you see Jesus at work in supernatural ways, or through the hands and feet of his servants.

Respond: How have you experienced the presence of Jesus when others seem to miss it? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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