That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby,
guarding their flocks of sheep.
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them,
and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.
They were terrified…

Luke 2:8,9a

Tonite I am exhausted. I am still battling a cold, and if I’m not mistaken I am running a bit of a fever. Really, I just want to go to bed, and as soon as I have finished this blog, that is exactly what I will do. So let me get to it.

One of the things I love about the part of the story that deals with the shepherds and the angels is that the shepherds were terrified when the angels showed up. Angels are scary. They’re not the little diaper-wearing-baby-faced images we sometimes imagine. Instead, they carry the glory of the Lord with them, and it scares the junk outta the shepherds.

I love that because it reminds me that God is big. God is so big that his messengers strike terror into the hearts of the ordinary folks. Encountering God (or God’s message) is a lot more frightening that we like to acknowledge. Sometimes we make God small. We make him manageable. We put baby faces and diapers on his messengers. We tame him.

I love that bit of dialogue in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe between Lucy and Mr. Beaver:

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you?
Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he is good.
He’s the King, I tell you.

No, God isn’t safe. And if His glory breaks upon you while you’re working the night shift, you might just find yourself scared silly. But he is good. And that is so much better than safe.

And with that good thought, I am off to bed…

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