In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!…And he angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in you womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus—Luke 1:26-28, 30-31
I have a case of Christian admiration going on [forbid it actually be godly jealously!]. I read the accounts of Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth, the shepherds tending their flock in the field, even Simeon and Anna, and am amazed at their ability to listen to so well. The events that took place depended on people who were paying attention at the right time, people who were attentive to your voice and then willing to follow through in whatever way they were told.
What were they able to do that I have not yet mastered? I feel like kid in the classroom where the teacher reminds her students; “put on your listening ears” because she has something important to say.
Christmas isn’t just a time for festivities and shopping, celebration and good food; it’s a time for listening! I think I need a set of listening ears for Christmas Lord! I need to tone down and tune out the ruckus of this noisy world and put on my listening ears because I’m sure You are whispering something that will be life-changing, in my ear. I need to be more like the parent of a new-born who spends their nights with their ear to the baby monitor; listening for the rhythm of breathing, listening for cries in the night, detecting whether the sound they hear is a coo or a cry for attention. I have read in the Scriptures that You sing over your children in the night (Ps. 42:8) Have I ever heard You singing over me, Lord?
Jesus, I’m beginning to understand that every time I take time to visit the manger I come away with something more: today it’s a set of listening ears! Thank you for this wonderful gift that keeps on giving! Amen.