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Advent Devotional, December 24th

Luke 2:1–14 (15–20)

Surprise! We know this story so well, the hardest part is to hear it with all its

surprises, to hear it in its simple beauty and imagery, with its unwitting cast of

characters and its heavenly scope. An expectant couple arrives in Bethlehem.

Even with no fitting place to stay, their baby is born. Shepherds doing their

own thing are suddenly interrupted by the glory of the Lord. Great fear meets a

message of hope—the very heart of this story: “For you a Savior has been born,

the Messiah, by the glory of God."

And what’s more, this good news is for you “today,” not in some distant future.

The shepherds at least seem to grasp this part, and immediately they are on

their way to check it out, to see this “word” (not “thing”) which has come to

pass—literally a fulfillment of the angel’s promise that all “words” are possible

with God (see also Luke 1:37).

On this eve of Christmas, may we once again hear the promise and join the

pilgrimage to Bethlehem to see this good news which is happening among us.

O God of promise, may our ears and hearts once again be open to hear the

announcement of the birth of your Son, and join the pilgrimage to honor him with

lives that are given to his service. Amen.

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