Friday, December 24, 2010

Luke 2

Merry (almost) Christmas!

Tonight if we can get to church (yes this is in question) I have the honor of reading Luke 2:4-20.  I'm excited about it and will be disappointed if I miss it.

When I worked at church, Christmas Eve was a mixed blessing.  It was wonderful to spend hours celebrating Christ's birth, to greet friends with a Merry Christmas and to sing and sing and sing.  I did truly feel like I got to worship on that evening.  On the other hand, it represented significant time away from family at a significant time of year (I never served a church that had fewer than three services).  It meant I was tired on Christmas day.

This year there's only one service.  I'm not in charge.  I haven't had to work.  I simply need to show up and read.  But the reading is significant, it is the Christmas story.  Sure we all know it, even those who don't go to church know the gist of it.  Linus recites this passage in the Charlie Brown Christmas special.  But if it has been awhile since you paid attention to the words, take a moment, slow down and read.  And then, do what Mary did treasure these things and ponder them in your heart.

One more thing - tonight when you see your pastor - say thank you, let them know you appreciate this gift they are sharing with you this evening.

Merry Christmas everyone!

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
 15 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 the Lord has told us about.”
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

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