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!’
Good news of great joy...couldn't we all use more of that? In this time of great celebration, a time when that quiet, still space in our heart grows two sizes bigger, we can sometimes forget that we continue to be surrounded by those in great suffering. There are those who do not know that voice, do not know the joy of having a Savior, those who feel alone, those who have suffered great losses, those who are dejected and rejected.
In this time of great joy, I ask us all to lift up in a special way those who feel no joy, who face life with no hope, who are lost and feel forsaken. It seems like the past days have brought news of despair and suffering for a handful of people I know personally. Our Savior Jesus Christ belongs to them as much as He belongs to anyone. I pray that they are able to see His light in the midst of their darkness. In the year to come, may we be a beaming light in a world that seems darker by the day.
As we gather around the table, as we gather in worship, as we unwrap the gifts, we give thanks to God who has given us every good gift. Perhaps, if the quiet stillness in our hearts is just loud enough, we commit ourselves to being more present to Him, so He can make us more present to the world around us in such desperate need of His love.
Wishing everyone a most blessed Christmas!
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