Psalm 1:6 " For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous..."
Luke 2:8-9 "In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them."
The word watch is used frequently and often without much thought. Jewelers replace watch batteries, display watch batteries, and sell designer watches. New parents watch their baby as it sleeps to ensure all is well. Little children call out to anyone nearby, "Watch me!" Caregivers hold firmly to shoulders of a disabled loved one and mutter, " Watch your step!" And the words: tornado watch, hurricane watch, and death watch evoke fear. Each usage of watch brings different images to mind.
During this Advent Season the scripture reading of the faithful watch of the shepherds fills my mind with images of my Eastern New Mexico and West Texas childhood. Brilliant nighttime skies, without light pollution, illuminate the prairie. Subtle sounds from coyotes, owls, distant oil derricks, and neighborhood pets echo across the cold landscape. Meanwhile gentle folks on nighttime oilfield, hospital, or law enforcement duty diligently keep watch as they wait for dawn, the ending of their night watch shift, and a new day's beginning.
Now I, like the shepherds in Luke, wait and watch for Christmas. I wonder about the Angel who brought great joy to the shepherds and was joined later by a multitude of heavenly hosts. As I meditate on the scripture, I puzzle over the Angels in my life. Who are they? Do I recognize those who spread God's glory all around me? How may I learn to acknowledge them? If I can become more like an angel of the Lord will I be able to shine light upon someone else? As I quiet my mind a spiritual lullaby comes to mind, "All day, all night, angels watching over me my Lord, all day, all night, angels watching over me." And so, like the shepherds, I wait. I ponder. I keep watch. And I give thanks for the Lord and His angels who keep over me. I pray that I acknowledge and become more like them.
Daily Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
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