December 24, 2017

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:6–7

Tomorrow is Christmas; and amid all the glitter and celebration, we will stop and remember that Christ was born in a stable. Stables, buildings used for the shelter and feeding of animals such as horses and cattle, are not the cleanest places and have a distinct odor that is overwhelming at times. Nevertheless, that is where Jesus made his entrance into this world.

In the midst of dirty conditions, God was revealed in the birth of a baby—a sign of life and pure love. On that star-filled night over two thousand years ago, those present experienced a miracle. In a stable amid the hay, the animals, and the stench, the heavens proclaimed God’s gift to the world.

As we once again celebrate the birth of the Christ-child, we have the opportunity to ground ourselves in the power of the living God. God came into the world for each of us. He came to bring us life when we are dead in spirit, hope when we are in despair, light when we are in darkness, love when we are unlovable, peace when we are in conflict, and forgiveness when we fall short. These gifts are given to each of us through God’s grace. May this Christmas day open our eyes to God’s power and presence, and may we see the miracle of the Christ-child in the most unexpected places.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord (v. 11).