Christmas Eve: December 24  

Luke 2:1-14

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!”

 

from William B. Allen, Regional Minister Emeritus

            The story is familiar:  the decree from Augustus, the trip to Bethlehem, the inn, the manger, the shepherds.  We know it, we love it, and we learn from it the ways of our loving God.

But today my thoughts have gone like a laser (in earlier times I would have said an arrow, but today it’s a laser) to vss. 10 and 11.  The angel says, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the City of David a Savior…”

No fear!  Great joy for all people!  A Savior!

This is good news, gospel that we, the church, have been given to share.  Let us not be stingy in knowing and letting the world know this good news of great joy.

 

Loving God, thank you for this good news of new birth. 

Give us words, empower our deeds,

that we may share it with all people.

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