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Simple Folk, Simple Faith

I love the story of the Shepherds in Luke 2...

Luke 2:8-20 
8  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9  An angel of the Lord appeared to 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. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
17  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
18  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
19  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  

Yesterday I had the privilege of witnessing my son-in-law's thesis proposal for his PhD before a panel of peers and professors from his field and department.  He did brilliantly, and even though I didn't understand a lot of what he is proposing to do his research in, I could rejoice in the confidence he projected and the ability to engage people who I would be intimidated by in a conversation in their field of expertise.
It's been a few years since I've hung around PdDs...and I had to remind myself that beneath the surface are human beings who ache for "being" and for intimacy - just like me.

What I have become over the last few years is one of the "simple folk".  I don't have a desire to be known for intelligence - although intelligence is not to be overlooked.  I don't have a desire to be called a great "thinker", although thinking is prized.
What I desire more than anything is to be a person God wants to use - to be called by Him to make a witness to those around me of what He is doing, and what He has done - for me, for the world.

Simple folk go about their work every day without fanfare, accolade, or notice.
Simple folk can be people of faith who live it out without the need for other's approval, or opinion.
Simple folk are like these shepherds on the hillside that first Christmas evening.
Going about their work
Interrupted by God
Willing to Seek God out
Sharing what they have seen and heard.

The old Shaker Hymn is good to remember:
"Tis a gift to be simple,
Tis a gift to be free..."



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