By Pastor Rick Johnson
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. -- Luke 2:11
How many of us grew up in a house where the Christmas story (Luke 2:1-20) was read every Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? I remember waking up on Christmas mornings and reading the Christmas story as a family before we opened any presents. I confess that it wasn’t always that way, but I thought that was a special time when we were intentional time at the beginning of Christmas day to look to scripture and be reminded of the real meaning of Christmas.
The true message of Christmas is timeless and just as relevant for us today as it has been for more than 2,000 years. To think that someone born in the harshest circumstances would be God on earth is something that we both celebrate and have reason to wonder about. We celebrate Christ’s birth precisely because he did not meet the expectations of the time in which he was born. He was not a military leader who would lead Israel in throwing out the Romans and he did not lead the people back into the temple in a spiritual renewal for the people of Israel only. He instead proclaimed the message that the Kingdom of Heaven was near to us all. This Good News continues to transform lives in the here and now in the same way that it has since our Savior first walked among us.
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord this Christmas, there are things to consider and wonder about. Where does the Kingdom of Heaven touch us in our lives? Where is it that we see the Spirit of Christ in the world today? Where is it that we feel the treasured touch of our Lord upon our hearts this year as Mary treasured the circumstances of Jesus’ birth in hers that first Christmas?
Let us pray:
Blessed are you Lord God of Heaven and earth. We thank you for your Son who you sent into the world to be our Lord and Savior. Help us to always remember the meaning of his birth and to take the time to see and hear the true message of Christmas for us in our lives today.
Rick Johnson is pastor at Jerusalem Evangelical and St John’s Lutheran churches in Rincon.