Luke 2:15-20 New International Version (NIV)
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which God has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen the baby, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Word of Hope
Today is Christmas Day and for those of us who have been experiencing Advent, a season of waiting and anticipation is over. Today, the Christ-child is born.
For many this will be just like any other day, except, perhaps there will be no work, no school, and a break in the normal routine of life. For others, it will be a time of gathering with friends, family and family of choice. For others, it might be a time spent in solitude, not, perhaps, by choice but by circumstances.
For people of faith, it is a time to give thanks for the birth of Jesus and the transformational work that Christ did in his lifetime, opening a new way to be in relationship with God. It is a time to reflect on the work that was begun and to consider the ways in which we cooperate with God to complete the work of revealing the unconditional love of God for all humankind.
In our text today, the Gospel writer gives us two very different responses to the arrival of the Savior. For the shepherds, they responded by hurrying off to see for themselves. For Mary it was to treasure up all these things now complete and reflecting on them in her heart.
Each of us are called to have a response to the arrival of Christ, the birthday of Jesus. No matter how it is impacts our lives today, the response that we are called to is to tell the good news. Some of us will choose to do this, like the shepherds, who spread the word. Others will do it, as witnessed by others, seeing a change in our lives, others by doing good works as an act of praise and “giving glory to God.”
As you begin your Christmas Day, I pray that you will take time to make it a special day of, like Mary, pondering these things in your heart and, like the shepherds, find a way to tell others of the good news of Jesus through your actions.
A Christmas Prayer
Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth, may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding you give us. As you chose the lowly, the outcasts, and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart. May we remember our brothers and sisters, our siblings less fortunate than ourselves in this season and, through word and deed, act to give glory to You. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas, Senior Minister