CHRISTMAS EVE AND DAY
Rev. Ron Robinson
Scripture: Luke 2
Scripture Reading: In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph 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. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And 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.
Reflection: This is a day when we pause to pay homage to the vulnerable from whom great love and real power will come. From fragile children, from the sick, from those near the end of their days, from those in prisons, from those on the streets, from those between nations, from those suffering from violence in beautiful homes and on battlefields and from those who live in fear. From the confused. This is a day when scripture tells us that it is they, and not the Augustus'and Quirinius' and not even the Kings, through whom God will celebrate and love the world. But it isn't always obvious. We look at the world of violence and oppression and poverty, again and again on another Christmas, and we long for the hope reflected in Luke's story. The hope is wrapped so tight in its own swaddling clothes it is hidden from us. We may even on this day search in the mangers of our own lives and find no radiance there. The reality of having no place in the inn works into our lives and shapes how we see and feel and know God's presence. Despair, hurt, depression, longing. Yes we have waited through the Advent season so long that these companions with us can seem all we have brought with us. But then the baby cries. We are awakened. The baby cries and it is our cry. The baby cries out new life and it is our new life. The baby cries in the silence of the holy night and we turn toward the baby. And nothing is ever the same again. We know in that moment of turning how the Holy One has turned toward us.
Prayer: O Voice of the voiceless, power of the powerless, Love of the fearful, we rest in thy birth today; we get our breath back today, we look in the faces around us today and see common dreams; we know Whose we are today; let that be our enough now and always; let it move us to give birth to such a One in the lives of all around us, especially to those who reside in the animal feeding-troughs, for it was there we met You. Move us beyond words on this day O Lord, move us into the silence of your great Gifts; bring us into your home this day as we make room for others in ours. In Christ, Amen.