Dave spoke this morning from Luke 2:4-14, giving us further insight into ‘the Nativity‘, something often re-enacted in school and church plays throughout the country in December. The scene of shepherds and wise men all gathering around the baby Jesus gives us a feeling of comfort and peace, even if we have no personal knowledge of God. Nostalgia and sentiment are often associated with our memories of Christmas, but the message of good news brought by the angels goes beyond our feelings of magic and family harmony.
Christmas is important because of Christ. We may focus on other things (material gifts are great!), but all of us need more than the material; we need the warmth, love and peace which Jesus brings to us. The birth of any child is special, but the birth of Christ, prophesied for so long, heralds a new age, a new covenant. Even poor shepherds were invited by angels to welcome this child; we see wise men kneel in awe before a baby. We see Joseph, the village carpenter, a man of integrity, standing next to Mary, the woman who sang of justice and God’s grace to her.
All of us see ourselves in this Nativity scene; we feel the wonder and awe of this scene as we gaze on the power of the ordinary mixed with the miraculous. Christmas brings the gift of God to us in humble, simple ways: a baby born in Bethlehem. We come with our own gifts of love and service and find in HIm all we could ever need.