Our scripture this morning is Luke 24:44-53.
Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things. “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.
It may seem strange to read the story of the Resurrection on Christmas Eve, but the manger leads to the cross and the empty tomb, and all are an intricate part of God’s plan for us. Jesus came as an infant, lived and died as a man, and rose again to save us from our sin. Through it all He was and is and will always be the holy Son of God. This is the gift we give thanks for as we celebrate His birth.
Like those in this passage, we need to allow Him to open our minds to understand the Scriptures and live in us. He calls us as witnesses to God’s love, to go in His name sharing the mercy and forgiveness God offers. This is our task and our blessing.
May you find the peace Jesus came to bring to all the earth, today and always. May you know the joy of a renewed relationship with our Heavenly Father and all our brothers and sisters. Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Gracious God, You sent Jesus to be one of us that we might be one with You. Help us to share the wonderful news that Christ is born. Amen.