Aloha Friday Message – December 30, 2016 – Men, Ministers, and Messengers

1653AFC123016 – Men, Ministers, and Messengers

Read it online here, please. And please, when you visit there, use one of the social media links at the bottom of the page to share this post. Thank you!  E pili mau na pomaika‘i ia ‘oe a me ke akua ho’omaika‘i ‘oe, ʻŌmea! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Beloved!)

On this Sixth Day of Christmas, I cannot give to you
Six geese a-laying, nor Five golden rings, nor
Four calling birds, nor three French hens, nor
Two turtle doves, much less a
Partridge in a pear tree.
However, I can give you this – kind of a long (and very familiar) passage, but one that holds some real gems.

Luke 2:8-20 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth 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 heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

ShepherdsAngels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this passage we have men – shepherds, who are visited by angels – messengers, and men and angels together minister to – watch and serve, “a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” We hear this passage often, and we love the idea of God’s messengers saying, “peace, good will toward men.” Or “peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Or “on earth peace among those whom he favors!” Or, well, just take a look at this link for Luke 2:14, and you will see that there are quite a few ways to look at this idea. Historically, the period in which Jesus was born was indeed a time of World Peace – at least for Rome. It is referred to as the Pax Romana – a time of virtual permanence of peace and tranquility across the Roman Empire that lasted for about 200 years in all, and it began with Caesar Augustus, who had decreed that “that all the world should be registered” (See Luke 2:1-5). However you read the passage about who will be the beneficiaries of God’s Good New of Peace, the gist of it is that Peace would be for humanity – all the earthlings for whom God intended this blessing. And it was in this way that the saga of Emmanuel began to take shape in a tiny town in Judea.

On Sunday, January 1, 2017 millions of people around the world will be remembering that young virgin who gave birth to the Messiah in a stable, wrapped him in comforting layers of cloth, laid him in the straw in a feed trough to keep him warm, and marveled as shepherds journeyed  in from the surrounding countryside exulting and proclaiming the words of a multitude of angels. One of the most famous modern Christmas songs, lyrics written by Mark Lowry and music written by Buddy Greene, was featured recently in a recording by the Pentatonix (↔ Music Link)  So, let’s try a little “Reader did you know” with this passage.

Reader, did you know that ~~
The Latin word for shepherd is Pastore and is the Latin root word for your term “Pastor?”
The Greek word for shepherd is διακονέω (diakoneó) { dee-ak-on-eh’-o} which means actively serve, is the equivalent of Pastor, and is the root for our term “Deacon?”

The shepherds in the fields were there because the sheep they were watching, called “broad-tail sheep.” These critters often “lambed” in autumn and winter, so the shepherds were keeping watch over them just in case there was trouble with births – or predators! Did you know?

The men who were visited by messengers were also “pastors” in that they cared for the flock (as we Christians often refer to our church members these days).
The group of angles was referred to as “a multitude.” The root word for that Latin word is from Greek plethore and plethein, meaning “full” – there was a plethora of angels; the sky was full of them. Did you know a multitude can be counted, but a myriad cannot?

A multitude is different from a myriad. The word myriad means countless, innumerable, great multitude, host, massive number, a thousand thousands. Here’s an example:

Daniel 7:10 10 A stream of fire issued and flowed out from his presence. A thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him. The court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. 10,000 X 10,000 – וְרִבּ֥וֹ (wə-rib-bōw) {we-ri-bow’} = Myriads upon myriads – an indefinable number over 100,000,000 i.e., more than can be counted. Do you ever experience myriads?

Revelation 5:11 11 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 … Myriads μυριάδες (myriades) { my-ri-á-des}
The name Bethlehem is literally “The House of Bread.” לָֽחֶם׃ בֵּ֥ית, and the Bread of Life chose there to be born?

The name Mary is the Greek form of the name Miriam? One of the meanings of that name is rebellion or rebellious woman?  Did you realize that Peace on Earth became possible when Rebellion answered Obedience and said “Let it be done unto me according to your will?”

As we approach the beginning of the New Year and simultaneously close the Octave of Christmas, let us all remember that the Angel of the Lord said, ““Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.Oh, come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord. (↔ Music Link X 2!!)

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Please continue your prayers for RC who had surgery Wednesday, and for AW recuperating from a painful fall. Also, you have seen Terrific Tuesday posts credited to “MBN member ET in Alamogordo NM.” ET write about his wife, KT: “X-rays of her spine were taken here in Alamogordo a couple weeks ago. The doctor looked at the report and found she has a fractured vertebra – her back is broken — again. This is the ninth fracture she has had in her adult life, and the second time she’s had broken vertebrae. Please keep her in your prayers for the next several weeks as she heals. They had to double her pain medication.”

In this New Year let us love one another even as Christ has loved us. (See John 15:12-14)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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