In the stillness of the night, an Angel of the Lord appears to shepherds, to people who’ve been a symbol of what God has always been doing in the world, keeping watch by night. And in this darkness, light had entered the world, and here was God, celebrating and declaring and proclaiming this light over the people.
The biggest miracle of the birth of Jesus isn't that he was born of the virgin Mary. The biggest miracle is that despite the ridicule and pain it would bring Mary in a society that would look down on her for being pregnant before marriage, she says yes anyway, declaring that, "I am the Lord's servant."
The Israelites have returned home, but home isn't what it used to be. They carry the mental and physical anguish of what they endured in exile and now have returned to a home in rubbles. An anointed one has arrived on seen to proclaim good news anyway.
A locust plague of unprecedented proportion has hit the land. Lands that once seemed like the Garden of Eden now seem like death. Nothing has been left untouched.
Daniel had been rescued and in this moment we have to stop and ask ourselves a question. What was it about God that Daniel thought praying to God was worth dying for?
Isaiah finds himself in the presence of a Holy God who not only fills the temple, but also fills the world. Isaiah is filled with fear because he knows he's in the presence of God who shakes the foundations of the earth with his holiness and at this point Isaiah believes he's about to die before God.
The story of Jonah is often told as a kids story, a story about a man who ran from God, only to be swallowed by a whale for his disobedience. But the story of Jonah isn't a kids story. It's a dark story, a story that eats human understandings of compassion and just how far God is willing to go in order to forgive.
And it was so. The widow, one who at least one point in life been a Baal worshipper, believed the word that God had given Elijah. She didn't run out of oil. She didn't run out of flour. And most importantly, she didn't run out of hope.
God doesn't need a house to live in. God doesn't need a box to be put into. God has been with the people every step of the way and he tells Nathan to tell David, did I ever tell you that I needed a house, or a palace, or a temple to live in? No. God wasn't interested in David building him a house because instead, God was going to build David an everlasting house.
Hannah is aching from the inside but from her grief and pain, calls on God for deliverance from her struggle, deliverance from barrenness.