Saturday, December 25th ~ Christmas Day
This devotion is the written accompaniment to a video Advent message that can be viewed on our YouTube Channel by clicking HERE.
Please read Luke 2:1-20
Verse 17 reads, “When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child.”
While Matthew and John both have something to contribute to the Christmas narrative, whether it is in further details about the famous and not-so famous people around the blessed birth, the lineage of the Christ Child, or a theological poem of epic proportions, In Luke’s Gospel we have the most complete and detailed description of what we now call “The Christmas Story.” I’m taken by these 20 verses, especially since almost two thirds of them are devoted not to Mary or Joseph or, most pointedly, the baby Jesus, but to the shepherds who were out in the fields, “keeping watch over their flock by night.”
Doesn’t it seem a little odd to you that in the limited space the gospel writers had, with the difficulty of securing writing implements and paper, that they chose to use it sharing that the good news first when to the laborers of their world, the not-so-glamorous everyday inhabitants of the land, the sheep herders. Well, it isn’t so odd if one remembers that the God who the Christ Child embodied was the same God who chose the small and insignificant Hebrew peoples through which to bless the world and not the empires of Egypt, Babylonia, or Rome. It makes perfect sense when one remembers this infant savior was related to both kings and commoners, to brick makers, musicians, and sex workers, to both wise sages and rascally change agents.
The challenge humanity has always had is to keep both the momentous and epic nature of the Birth of Jesus Christ in check with the incessant focus on the simple, the everyday, and the weak. This is hardest during the holiday season, let’s be honest. That is why the Church has edifices dedicated to the infant born this day that range from gold-adorned cathedrals to storefront churches. It is also why God calls lay people as well as clergy of all types, even Regional Ministers.
On this day my prayer for you is that at the very same moment you are able to both comprehend and celebrate this paradox, and may the enormity of this day overwhelm you with gratitude and joy, like the shepherds when they were terrified by the angels, as well as reassure you with comfort and hope, like the shepherds when they made known to others the good news they had been told.
And this will be the salvation of our faith: when the wonder and the reality of Christmas Day meet, and we feel compelled to tell others about it.
Merry Christmas, my dear friends.
Rev. Allen Harris
Regional Pastor and President
We hope and pray that this year’s Advent Devotionals have been a blessing to you.
We extend a heartfelt thanks to all who contributed.
The complete booklet can be downloaded by clicking HERE.
A full playlist of the video devotions can be viewed at https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzoJAJbs3ZWFEeOKMKR2Uo049h4FXjnnE