Brewery: Deschutes Brewery
Location: Bend, OR
Style: Winter Ale ABV: 6.7%
Contributed By: Shawna Hendrix (Thanks Shawna!)
I’m not really certain what differentiates a Winter Ale from a Christmas Ale but nonetheless this festive winter ale should be a nice treat to your cold Friday night on the eve of Christmas weekend! It has cocoa, dried fruit, and toffee notes with warming spice thrown in their too. Sit back, relax, and enjoy tonight’s brew!
Advent Reflection: I have long appreciated the perspective of the portion of Scripture where the heavenly host of angels appear to lowly shepherds! It tells me that though lowly in societies eyes, they were extremely worthy to be visited by the host of angels!
Luke 2: 8-12
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
KNEELING WITH THE SHEPHERDS
A bunch of men sit around a meager fire. They are rough men, laborers, near the bottom of the social pyramid. It is late and they are probably both cold and tired. They just want to make sure that they survive the night and none of the sheep are lost, stolen, or eaten by a predator.
The soft bleating of sheep and the low voices of the men are the only sounds to be heard in the stillness of the night. One could imagine one or two dozing as the night grew later, some talking about the cares of life, maybe even one set apart and keeping to himself. No matter what they were doing, they had no idea of how their life was about to change.
Suddenly there is light and singing and…..ANGELS!!! The darkness recedes, the good news is announced, and they run like the wind to Bethlehem – to fall before a baby in worship.
I love this story. It is probably my most favorite of all that happened on that night so long ago. A bunch of ordinary working men are the first to hear the extraordinary news of a savior and their lives are never the same again. I love to imagine them racing to Bethlehem. I see them stopping anyone and everyone in the streets and asking where they can find the baby. I even imagine the incredulous looks they received and how surprised they must have been when they finally found the child….in a stable.
But most of all I love thinking about how they must have felt as they fell to their knees in worship and adoration. As they gazed on that baby, did they see hope and love? Did it change how they lived, worked, loved, and believed when they left and went back to everyday life?
The beauty of the story never grows old. The fact that the announcement was made to a group of scruffy men in a field. The reality that they had to take on the challenge of finding the baby after they got over being scared to death because they had just seen not one, but a host of angels. And when they found him he was lying in a feeding trough attended by a young man and woman who were just as ordinary as they were.
Every year as I read this story I am reminded that I too am just an ordinary person, that God wants me to run and find Him, and that when I do there is light, love, and hope. The challenge as I fall down and worship the gift of that baby is to then rise up and live a different life. To understand that God doesn’t call me to stay there and just adore, but to stand up again and allow that experience to change how I work, love, live and believe. I like to think that is what happened with those shepherds. I pray that it is also what happens to me – to us who hold the knowledge of the good news of a Savior who is Christ the Lord.
Jesus Christ, highest and holiest, you humbled yourself to enter into our lives. Bring us with the shepherds to kneel before your lowly cradle, that we may rise changed people as only you can transform us. May the music of our lives shine with the glorious praises of your angels.