Sunday, December 25, 2011
God bless us everyone!
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. Luke 2:1-20
Bob Crachit abides in my heart as one of those characters from Dickens' A Christmas Carol who really teaches us the true meaning of Christmas throughout the year. He doesn't have an amazing change of heart like Scrooge. He has a heart of love all year long. He adores his children and loves his wife. He is tender and forgiving despite his lean circumstances. He doesn't curse or complain about his boss whose only care is money. He is generous and forgiving, living a wonderful, loving life despite many limitations. He rejoices in love and ignites love and joy around him everyday.
Today I invite us all to look around and take in the love and joy we have been given. For me, as I sat in church last night, I couldn't help but delight in my family all together, giggling and teasing in the pew. I am so blessed by God and surrounded by love. Riches in such abundance and no one can take that away - from any of us. God is love and right here, right now, with us, one of us, inciting love and joy all around. May we treasure the gifts we have been given and share that love where ever we go. Love came down at Christmas and stays with us all day everyday. Glory to God in the Highest! Peace to people Everywhere!
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.