Christmas Eve

Historically, the church has celebrated Christmas over a period of days. So, we continue that tradition with this week’s reflections.

Monday  Luke 2.6-7. Merry Christmas! Christmas Day is often full of activity and interaction. If you can, carve out time to enjoy reading the story of the birth of Jesus from both Matthew’s
(Matthew 2.1-23) and Luke’s (Luke 2.1-40) accounts. If you could have been one of the characters in this story, what character would you choose and why? If you are with guests, invite their response. Enjoy and be blessed.

Tuesday — Matthew 1.18-25. “We don’t know much about Joseph. Scripture tells us that Joseph was a righteous man. A man who obeyed God, respected, and cared for his young wife who had shocked him with stunning development of divine proportions. Joseph went to extreme lengths to protect the Baby from Herod’s death squads, and to guide young Jesus in the faith. He trusted God, risking life and reputation for the sake of his calling as father to this mysteriously wonderful Child. May all fathers, today desire to have those same attributes developed in them, under God’s guidance!” (Tom Barnard, Friday Evening)

Wednesday — Luke 2.9-11. Did the shepherds understand that this Baby would give light to all mankind? No. But they understood fear, and on a fear-scale of 1 to 10, their fear maxed out. They knew about tending sheep, but they had never heard a heavenly host praising God. Did they have any idea that eternal life was in this Child? Not a chance. They were given a front row seat at an event they’d tell people about all their lives. What is it about the coming of God in human form that gives you a sense of awe and wonder? Pray, asking God for awareness and desire to share about your own encounter with Christ.

Thursday — Luke 2.16-20. Mary experienced some unusual events before and after the birth of Jesus. All sorts of guests happened by, unannounced: an angel with a strange announcement, rural sheep-herders, fresh from the fields, and mysterious visitors from the East who weren’t even Jewish. All had a message to share with Joseph and Mary about this Child. Mary pondered all these things in her heart. Pondering is reflecting, thinking, wondering, connecting. “Pondering becomes prayer when reflection rises in a mind that is open to God.” (David Benner, Opening to God) Can you live today pondering these events? Is your mind open to God for a word or an insight from the story of Christ’s birth?

Friday — Luke 2. 25-32. Have you ever been asked, “What’s been the best day of your life?” Can you pick just one? Old Simeon would have had a quick and clear response. Imagine yourself holding the infant Christ, this long-anticipated hope for your people. Feel the excitement, the awe he must have felt. Here was God’s long-awaited Promise of salvation. And not only for his Jewish people, but Scripture announced long before that this Promise was for non-Jews, too. We all benefit from God’s gift! Pray today for someone you care about who needs to receive the Gift of all gifts. Give them a call and check on them.

Saturday — Luke 2.36-38. When you see or hold and infant, do you sense a burst of hope, of promise within you? We often think of a prophet or prophetess as being someone gifted by God to foretell a future event. There is also a forth-telling. Telling the truth. Proclaiming God’s word or direction over a person or an event. That’s what Anna was doing here—forth-telling. “This is Him.” This is the Messiah, our Hope.” “Imagine who this little One really is!” Think today of the many ways Jesus is Hope, and gives hope. How has he brought hope to you?