“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’ 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. And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.”LUKE 2:13-17
Like you perhaps, I pray with these scriptures year in and year out and, sadly, the story that’s unfolding can become one that I’m far too familiar with and I consequently fail to be moved by “this thing that has happened.”
As I prayed with these words from Luke earlier this week, however, the line the Lord italicized and bolded for me was this one, “Let us go over to Bethlehem.” Given the familiarity I just confessed to, I oftentimes simply stumble into Bethlehem rather than journeying to Bethlehem, intentionally as did the obedient and attentive shepherds. Some translations of this passage tell us that the shepherds not only left for Bethlehem but that they ran!
In this season of life, I don’t run much anymore. But I can run spiritually if I’m open to God’s grace. Perhaps this year, with our hearts renewed by The Rescue Project, the story that powerfully unpacks what God has done for us in His Son, God is inviting us to press into the grace He’s offering to see with fresh eyes all that’s happening in Bethlehem and to run there. Because what’s happening there is the commencement of the greatest rescue mission in all of human history – Jesus has left His royal throne of glory for you and for me, taking on human flesh to rescue us from Death and all that holds us bound.
Together, in haste, let’s abandon our places of comfort and familiarity, wherever and whatever they may be, and put our hearts on the line again before Him in worship and adoration. Let’s thank Him for coming to rescue us and, then, as the shepherds did, go and tell everyone about the One they encountered at the end of their run to Bethlehem.
Enjoy this week’s Rescue Rundown! From all of us at ACTS XXIX, know of our love, gratitude and prayers for each of you for a very blessed Christmas season.
Your sister on mission,
Our friends in Wisconsin, Steve and Jill Douglas, recently wrapped up The Rescue Project. Jill shared with us that, “It was amazing! Thank you for all the work your team has done to make this all possible. You had so much available to us to help us run the project and be successful! Whenever we had a question or wanted to share something that happened you always responded the next day with positive feedback and encouragement. Friendships were made, faith strengthened, a bond of accountability was created. We are hoping to widen the circle as we continue to be “beautiful” and shine our lights and attract others.”
NEW YEAR’S GIFTS COMING JANUARY 2023
Gracias a Dios! We have great news from Dan Johnson and the 4 PM Media team! The Spanish-dubbed Rescue Project videos are complete as are the newer version of our equipping videos. Log on, take a listen and get equipped for 2023!
JANUARY 23 LIVESTREAM
Our next Livestream will be on January 23, 2023. We will be continuing our conversations on how to bring transformation to the Church.
WHAT WE’RE HEARING
“The Rescue Project unfolds the story of God and man – your story and mine – with fresh lenses that allow each participant to reclaim their Christian identity. As seminarians and His future priests, we must deepen in knowing what we are and whose we are and The Rescue Project helps us do just that. Come alongside your brothers and learn more about your story; and the great work which Jesus has accomplished for us, and continues to work through us as brothers in the mission. It is time to live and proclaim your story in Christ. Will you?”TRANSITIONAL DEACON (soon to be ordained a priest)