Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Angel's Candle (The Shepherd's Candle, Pt. 2)

20 December 2011

Drawn away, the outskirts of civilization, lonely fields where children face sheer elements and grim, bleak reality . . . in these far off, unimportant places heaven touches earth, drawing its inhabitants close in embrace.

The hushed solitude of an inner temple chamber, the claustrophobic quarters of a peasant home, the desolate quiet of windswept heights . . . these mark the place of miracles. Here, earth life altered forever—there’s no shrine of remembrance, no tourist destination, no glorious memorial . . .

just rubble and dust . . . because that’s where God chooses to play out His story.

And He sends His angels, His messengers, like winds and flames of fire, these ones who see His face and do His bidding; these ones He commands to carry His news.

So they announce: to a shriveled priest, to an unimportant girl, to a poor carpenter, to forgotten children and leathery men out in the boonies—to these the angels come, and bring peace.

Why is the angel’s candle “peace”? They disrupted and disturbed everywhere they flew, upset every corner they crammed into, terrorized the landscape they used for a choir loft. They didn’t bark out commands that brought peace to those who obeyed them. The angels didn’t tell anyone what to do. So why did their coming bring peace?

Angels did not bring orders. They brought news—God’s reality, making order in our world.

They didn’t come with swords and threats, but their message impaled the human soul, and turned existence on its head.

They came singing, and set the world to dancing.

So this peace . . . it’s the coming of God’s reality: the Director comes onto the stage, and the angels choreograph Him in with music from heaven. We don’t hear these melodies much . . . we’re not listening for them. The prophets heard them before they sounded. Now, their echo pulsates ever-stronger, penetrating every battlement formed against it, melting every resistance with the miracle of imperceptible vibration.

God speaks His final word, and sends the crazed world reeling.

All that’s chaos explodes into mayhem, trying to drown out the angel’s song. But all that’s of heaven harmonizes with the messengers, even when it’s crying pain, and groaning for sheer life. Because peace doesn’t mean tranquility—peace means that the Creator is here, and nothing can happen to us outside His control.

Peace means we’re poor shepherds in the fields, tired old men, impressionable young girls, aspiring craftsman—singing the song of heaven.

Peace means we’ve been touched by God, have heard His final word, and surrendered to it as Reality . . . the heaven we can’t see utterly undoing and redoing the world we can see.

And He calls us further up, and further in, crawling into our shoddy hiding places with us, rescuing us where we are . . . this heavenly Man.

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