Our scripture for Christmas Eve is Luke 2:1-20, taken today from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
How does God call you? Most of us don’t get the Heavenly host appearing or the bright star that guides us, but God continues to speak to us in many different ways. We must simply be listening for His voice.
God calls us now and every day to be aware of the needs of those around us. In the troubled times we now experience it is essential that we pay attention. We may not be interacting in our communities as we have before and must look for those who require assistance.
We mustn’t be so deaf that it takes an angel chorus to get our attention, or so blind that a star has to shine before we can see the issues in our world. Look for ways to share God’s love and gifts right where you are. He has work for every one of us.
Gracious God, thank You for sending Jesus to love and save us. Help us to be aware of those who need our care, that we may be the face of Christ to all the world. Amen.