DayBreaks for 12/23/15: L’Enchante
“There is a beautiful story recounted every Christmas in the forests of Provence in southern France. It’s about the shepherds who came to Bethlehem to see the child. One brought eggs, another brought bread and cheese, the third brought wine. And the fourth brought nothing at all. People called him L’Enchante. The first three shepherds chatted with Mary and Joseph, commenting on how well Mary looked, how cozy was the cave and how handsomely Joseph had appointed it, what a beautiful starlit night it was. They congratulated the proud parents, presented them with their gifts and assured them that if they needed anything else, they had only to ask. Finally someone asked, ‘Where is L’Enchante?’ They searched high and low, up and down, inside and out. Finally, someone peeked through the blanket hung against the draft, into the crèche. There, kneeling at the crib, was L’Enchante – the enchanted one. Like a flag or a flame taking the direction of the wind, he had taken the direction of love. Through the entire night, he stayed in adoration, whispering, ‘Jesu, Jesu, Jesu – Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.’” – Brennan Manning, The Lion and the Lamb
I wonder what I would have done had I been one of the shepherds? Would I have scrounged up some gift out of my pack to take with me to Bethlehem? If so, what would I have taken? After all, what gift could a poor shepherd have that the child Jesus would need, or could use? Certainly, they could not take anything like the gifts which the magi bore on their caravan.
But perhaps, if there is anything to the ancient story (and even if there is not), L’Enchante had something to take but thought better of it. Perhaps L’Enchante realized that no matter what he had, there was nothing marvelous enough on this earth to lay at the feet of the baby Jesus. And in that moment, he had grasped a great truth. I think, perhaps, that he realized that what this baby deserved was not gifts which were so inadequate, but our wonder and our worship. And so, L’Enchante took the only thing with him to the manger that the baby would ever want: his heart. Hour after hour, pouring out worship, gazing in amazed and overwhelmed wonder at the Miracle that lay on the hay, too enchanted to talk about trivialities.
May we all be overwhelmed with the enchantment that Jesus brings with him. May we all give him our wonder and love and worship. May we avoid the trivialities that are so frivolous and meaningless and focus on the one thing that is needful – to worship the One who is our Savior.
TODAY’S PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we live in an age where it is hard for us to be amazed at anything that is good. It seems that the evil that is present in the world is still able to amaze us when we hear about our cruelty to one another, but seldom do we fall to our knees in amazement. Help the Christmas Truth to enchant us and capture our hearts anew this week. May we truly worship Jesu! In His name, Amen.
Copyright 2015 by Galen C. Dalrymple.