Reading: Luke 2:1-20
Reflection: Today’s reading is another one that is so well known that it is easy to miss the simplicity and power of the story. There are so many Christmas Card embellishments and festive additions that have been added to this story, that our common view of it is pretty radically different from what is actually in the Bible. For example, notice that there is no stable mentioned and that the word for “inn” is probably more likely to mean the guest room in the home of a relative than the motel-like establishment we imagine today!
But, when we wipe these embellishments away, what do we have left of the story? We have a God who chooses to incarnate God’s Self in a human being. We have a God who works through ordinary people in an ordinary town, going through the ordinary rituals of hospitality at a difficult time in their country. And we have the invitation to allow this God – and God’s purpose – to be the framework of our lives. It’s all a cause for incredible celebration – which is why it is good for us to party through this season as we do. But, it’s also a cause for us to stand in awe at the grace and love of this God, and of the Child who was God Incarnate.
What is your response to the Christmas story? In what ways can you allow moments of awe to break in through the celebrations this Christmas? How will the amazing reality of the incarnation stay with you and guide your life in the year to come?
Prayer: If I’m honest, God the truth of Christmas is far more than I can really understand. It makes no sense for God to become human, and for a baby to be God incarnate. It’s strange to think that you would enter the world quietly, almost undetected, without any real fanfare or massive display of power and glory. But, this is what you ask us to believe – this is who you ask us to believe you are! Please God, let the truth and the incredible power of your coming sink into my heart and life. Help me to know that when I woke up this morning, I awoke into a completely new world – a world in which God has walked among God’s creatures, and walks among us still. Amen.