Luke 2:8-20 —

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 Thaddaeus B. Allen, Regional Minister

Merry Christmas!  This holy day is indeed special.  The advent journey has been a blessedly helpful guide as we approach this feast day.  We have been encouraged to stay awake, to be hopeful, to embody joy, and to expect and exemplify the peace of Christ.  This day we recall shepherds who journeyed to visit Jesus.  And lo and behold they did indeed catch a glimpse of the Christ child.  I have a strong pastoral hunch that today, just like the shepherds of this Gospel account, we also are catching a glimpse of Jesus, the Christ child, who continues to take shape right in the center of our lives.  Look around and see!

Wide awake from the journey we see the incarnate one with fresh eyes and hearts.  Like shepherds of old, we too, by the grace of God, are being drawn closer and closer to the very life of our God.  Through the worship of the church we have been drawn, through acts of charity and love we have been drawn, through moments in fellowship we have drawn, and on this day we are reminded again that the living God draws us close and we see.  A glimpse of Jesus alive in the world is quite a gift.  Christmas makes clear the case that God loves us and indeed loves all of humanity.  Christmas tells the story again that the Word and Flesh are inseparable.  God is with us, right here in our midst.  Can you see?  Have you caught a glimpse?  May we too treasure this and ponder this within our hearts for it is true. God Bless you and yours on this day and, again, Merry Christmas!

Incarnate God, be revealed to us again

as you draw us into the mystery of your presence here.

Glory to you, O Lord!