Friday, December 23, 2011

Glory to God in the Highest!

The song I have been listening to most recently - again and again - as I drive, and the chorus and melody that fill my head at other times, has been one that I discovered recently "by accident".  It is Glory to God in the Highest, by Downhere.  (Take a minute to listen, if you haven't heard it... it's OK, I'll wait... )

As is typical of a New Favorite Song, as it sinks deeper and deeper into my being, not only do I begin to feel it, but I begin to imagine myself within it.  I also start "seeing" it - in concept form - as the signs come forth, as if I were interpreting it in American Sign Language.

Now, I am sure it is helpful that most of my driving recently has been through the countryside of rural middle Tennessee.  I drive along and see the hillsides.  I see the livestock grazing.  I know the depth of the darkness that occurs there at night with only the moon and the stars as a source of light.

So, when I hear the guys of Downhere singing of "hillsides of moonlight and shooting stars", I see that.  I know that.  I remember spending a night on a hillside in Colorado years ago.  Nothing but "moonlight and [shooting] stars".  Quiet. Peaceful.

And I can imagine the shepherds, sitting there or standing there.... having a regular night at work.  What I can't imagine - and honestly get choked up and "chill bumps" every time I think of it - is sitting there, having a regular night at work, and having that darkness of "a crisp blue night" suddenly break "with full day light".  No WONDER the angels first words were "Fear not".  "Afraid" would not even begin to describe what I imagine I would have felt...

Seriously, "hosts of heaven's angels filling the sky".... I see that as I sign it.  It's amazing.  Indescribably incredible.  Words do not do it justice.  There are *not* words - only that deep stillness within. Wow.

So as I drive along, belting out the chorus, "Glory to God in the highest...", I am so grateful.  For His birth.... and His death, and His resurrection.  For the fact that, for me, Christmas is more than a tree and presents, and time with family.  Those are great, don't get me wrong.  They are just nothing compared to what else we have been given.  "The greatest [gift] of Light"

Luke 2:8-20 ESV
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Glory to God in the Highest ~ Downhere

On hillsides of moonlight and shooting stars,

Shepherds keep the late watch on a crisp blue night,
Suddenly the darkness, breaks with full day light,
With hosts of heavens angels filling the sky.

"Glory to God, in the highest! now here in Bethlehem,
Glory to God in the highest! the Child who will save all men!"

Rushing to the city, sandal slipping cobblestone,
Find they in the great story, for centuries we've now known,
Pouring out with wonder, the shepherds step outside,
and lift worn hands to heaven singing aloud...
"Glory to God, in the highest! now here in Bethlehem,
Glory to God in the highest! the Child who will save all men"
Now until He returns, remember this time;
When least of men where given the greatest of light,
That God chose not to glory in wealth, power, fame..
but with the simple and the small he came.

"Glory to God, in the highest! now here in Bethlehem,
Glory to God in the highest! the Child who will save all men!"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Become a Human (dot org)

Driving to work today, listening to my new favorite song, I knew today would be the day I would return to the blog, and I knew exactly what I would write.


... I took a moment to check out my friend's new website.

I had been hearing about the idea and love the concept, and I had noticed the way God has (from my perspective) not only laid this on his heart, but woven it into his entire being. In our discussions about it, one question had piqued my curiousity... and I began some thoughful, introspective reflection.

"What does it mean to "be human" ?"

As I composed my response, I noted that several answers came from certain (especially trying) "seasons" in my life. Those growth valleys where God and I walked, together - me broken enough to let go of my pride and my desire to control the situation, and fully listen.

The question that followed reminded me that mere knowledge was not enough. I need to put hands and feet to my humanity. You see, he had also asked:

"What are our responsibilities to Humanity?"

Again, I made a list to summarize my thoughts. And then I sat back and really LOOKED at the list...and wondered, "how many of these am I really doing?"

So today, when I pulled up the site (which, by the way, won't officially launch until after Christmas, but I encourage you to see it now!), I sat back and all I could say was "WOW!" It's awesome! The mission, the purpose, the Become a Human Project itself. It is so encouraging!

I do have passions and gifts... and I do want to use them for good. I am inspired and I have pledged to do my part...

It is so awesome to see God at work!

Check it out: