Good morning all! Merry Christmas Eve!
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
If you don’t like reading all of this yourself, just tune in here….http://youtu.be/DKk9rv2hUfA
Wow! What a journey we have been on this season! We have been through tragedy together, unexpected surprises, new births, deaths, and new relationships. We have traveled to the camino together and just down the road to the Zoo lights. We even survived the end of the world together. We have read poetry, listened to songs, and watched different videos together (think I finally figured out all of the link stuff). We sung together and lamented together and through it all hopefully you have been watching the world with me.
This is what Advent is all about…the wait, the wonder, and the anticipation are all together. This season makes us look up from our chaotic lives to see what might be before us. And then what?
It all culminates with the story above. Tonight we celebrate a baby being born and the only way that can change the world is if it changes you in some way. Allow yourself to take in today and be changed in some way. Tomorrow doesn’t change all that much unless you let it. There will still be hungry. There will still be justice issues. And next year the baby will be born again. But make today something in which you feel that within you. Open yourself up to what might be and what could be. That is the only way that Christmas will feel any different.
My dad is a collector of the story “A Christmas Carol.”
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Merry Christmas pastor Courtney (Moriah)