Written by Sunnie Lain, Director of Conferences and Community Outreach.
Gospel: (Luke 2:1-14)
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled… And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child and she gave birth to her firstborn Son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds living in the fields and keeping watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of great joy…for a savior has been born for you who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”…When the angels went away from them, the shepherds said to one another, “let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
The angel told the shepherds that the Savior was born and where to find him. How and when are we told? If we wait for the heavens to open and angels to speak to us, we will be waiting a lifetime. We are told in less spectacular ways of God’s presence and saving activity on our behalf, but no less powerful or revealing. God does speak. God reveals divine presence in the smile of another, in someone’s generous offer, in a plea for help, in the cry of the poor and the oppressed, in the child needing reassurance, in the aged needing a listening ear, in the sick needing a consoling hand. This is how we “make known the message”: to reach out to another with God’s compassion, mercy, forgiveness, healing, love. The mystery of Christmas in that God is incarnate. Today we see not a Baby in the manger, but a saving God working through and among us. (Living Liturgy, p.24)
Words of Vincent:
“Love is inventive, even to infinity.” (McKenna, Praying with Vincent, p.103)
Discussion: (Share thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence)
How have we seen our saving God working through and among us this Christmas?
In what ways has “Love been inventive, even to infinity?”
On this day, joy was reborn into the world,
-may we share the joy of Christ with everyone today and always.
On this day, hope was reborn into the world,
-may we bring the hope of Christ to those who are most in need.
On this day, love was reborn into the world,
-may we bring the love of Christ to others in compassion,
On this day, peace was reborn into the world,
-may we bring the peace of Christ to our family and our world. Amen