"And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it....then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it....How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven.' "[Gen. 28:12, 16-17] "Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice..." [Rev. 5:11-12a]
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 NRSV
And we thought one angel was terrifying! Here is a multitude, the Greek quite literally says a heavenly army, appearing above the heads of the shepherds. Jacob knew the presence of the divine when he dreamed of the angels descending and ascending where he slept and John of Patmos envisions the throne of heaven as surrounded by such a multitude. Without a doubt, the shepherds know that God is very much present. Take a moment and reflect back on the Christmas season. Where was God present for you in the last few weeks? Probably not as a heavenly army or chorus but God was present. Now perhaps you know what to look for during this New Year.
God, I pray that I can keep my eyes and ears open to your presence throughout this New Year. Amen.
Copyright 2008 Amelia G. Sims