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On the first Sunday in Advent, Dave spoke from Luke 2:6-16. As we prepare for Christmas, our memories are often taken up with family gatherings (helping to mix the Christmas pudding, checking name labels on parcels under the Christmas tree and Christmas walks in the snow), but the Nativity scenes described in this chapter of Luke also form part of our understanding of Christmas. The Nativity scene of shepherds surrounding Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus is often found on Christmas cards and this reminds us that even those who were considered lowly (being a shepherd was not a high-profile or highly paid job) were included by God as witnesses of the birth of this miracle child.

It’s very easy for us to become familiar with these scenes and to take for granted Joseph – a carpenter, a man of integrity whom God chose to protect Mary and her son – and Mary, whose song of praise shows us her heart for God. Nonetheless, these scenes remind us that the power of Christmas is often found in the ordinary and in the humble. Christmas brings us the gifts of God, but it does so in simple, ordinary ways. In the same way, too, we can bring the gifts of God to others, and need not be ashamed of our ordinariness. We ‘have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us‘ (2 Cor 4:7); God always uses the weak and the humble to fulfil His purposes.