Scripture:  Luke 2:8-20

8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.  12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”  13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”  15When 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.”  16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.  17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.  19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.  20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


An angel suddenly appears as we are living our daily lives and says:  “I interrupt the program of your daily life to bring you a news bulletin.”  It is a news flash announcing something spectacular and life changing.  And then, before saying, “I now return you to your regularly scheduled daily life program,” a multitude of angels sing a song of praise: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!

Fear, awe, trepidation, disbelief and wonder may be just some of the emotions we might experience.  Like us, the shepherds on that Christmas night may have felt similar emotions.  They might have wanted to run and hide, to ignore the message, or to rub their eyes and say “This isn’t really happening, I am just seeing things.”  But instead, they responded to the invitation of the angel to come and see and to experience the Messiah, the Lord, a little baby in a lowly manger who would change the world.

Will you respond to the invitation of the angel this Christmas to go to the manger and experience the love of the babe lying there?  Will you respond to the invitation to go to the manger and give thanks for the One who gives you new life through Him?  Will you respond to the invitation to go to the manger once again this Christmas and let the babe lying there change your life anew?

May we each approach the manger of our Lord this Christmas with an open heart and an open mind so that we might experience the hope, love, joy, and peace we find waiting for us as God’s dear children.  May we kneel in His presence and give thanks for the gift which has been given to us and to the world.  And as we leave the manger, may we, like the shepherds, sing a new song with our lives, a song filled with Good News, a song filled with hope, love, joy and peace, a song that is filled with the transforming love of the Babe in the manger who has been born in us anew this Christmas!


Prayer:  Loving God, we give you thanks and praise for the gift of your Son, Our Lord, the Messiah.  Help us to sing a new song with our lives as He is born in us anew this year through our experience of the hope, love, joy and peace that is Christmas and then to proclaim the Good News with the song of our life.  Amen.

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