Luke 2:1-20  

            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.


            from Rev. Thaddaeus B. Allen, Regional Minister

               Our lesson finds us in the midst of a great deal.  In this text we find government decreeing, young couples traveling, angels appearing and the heavenly host praising.  In this text we encounter inconvenience, fear, awe, and sacrifice. And yet, in the midst of all of this, life is present as never before. God comes into the center of all that is happening, and in the midst of a great deal, we are reoriented to God. 

               There seems to be a great deal going on in our midst these days too.  In our lives we struggle to comply, we are often fearful, at times lonely, and are shaken by an insecure future.  But in this holy time, we are reminded, yet again, that Jesus and life stand at our center. 

               So on this day may we be comforted by the coming of Christ.  In the midst of all that consumes us, may our fear be turned to song, may our uncertainty be transformed into assurance, may our tears be life-giving signs of love, and may we join the host of all times and places in worship.  On this day may we ponder this holy event in our hearts, and may we be reoriented to the One who is with us even yet. 


We give our whole selves to you, dear God, on this day. 

Let us claim your presence with us in all of life’s varied circumstances. 

We love you, and we trust you, and in you we rejoice!