As we have pursued God’s promise of a Supernatural Increase among the unreached of South Asia, its been on a journey of learning to recognize His glory, His Presence and what He is doing in and around us. This morning, I meditated once again on the wonderful Christmas story found in Luke chapter two. Luke 2:9-12 says “Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior- yes, the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
In these few verses we see two different invasions of Heaven to Earth. One very dramatic and hard to miss, and one that could easily have been missed (or misinterpreted) by the average person. The angels appeared to the shepherds- Wow! That was glorious and powerful! It was stunning and dramatic! Not something you could easily miss. Yet, even in this dramatic visitation of glory, they could have ignored it and disobeyed. They could have given in to their fears. This invasion of Heaven into Earth required faith and action from them. They needed ears to hear, eyes to see, and a spirit ready to obey- to “Go and See” what God was doing.
The other, the undoubtedly Greater invasion of Heaven to Earth came in a more disguised package. A baby in a manger, an outcast family who couldn’t even find a simple room in an inn. No host of shiny angels singing there…just a simple family, in very humble circumstances, even in need. Verse 7 says “She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.” Interesting isn’t it? The reason they were there, the reason she laid him in a manger was because of an apparent lack of provision in their lives. Yet, this was the very thing that God used as a sign to mark His involvement, that He was at work, that this was His incredible miracle.
The manger was the place of much greater glory- the Son of God himself had come to Earth. The shepherds were given this humble sign to look for in order to recognize God’s Glory, this amazing thing that He was doing.
Heaven invasions, Glory coming to Earth… it comes in different packages. It’s not always easy to “see” unless we are truly watching and listening, aware of the signs we are given, watchful, and obeying the promptings of God’s Spirit. My prayer for us this month is that we would recognize His glory, experience His Presence, follow His promptings, having eyes to see the signs of His work on earth and in the people around us.
What signs would He give you to watch for, to recognize His glory in someone’s life and see what He is doing there? The signs may be spectacular or easy to miss. You may get Angelic messengers and visitations. Or they may be unusually simple things, like a baby in a manger.
Lord, help us to recognize you, to recognize your Glory at work in the lives of those around us as we share your good news this month.