Tonight is the night.
Tonight the world stopped on its axis as the stillness was broken by the cry of a newborn. The stars watched. The universe waited with bated breath. And then… the world continued as it always had. But not for everyone.
On the night of his birth, the same angel that had visited his mother and stepfather went to some shepherds and showed them the way. The lowest of the low, short of slaves. Stinky and poor. Humble and unwanted. They were the ones that God invited into the nativity scene.
And the magi haven’t arrived yet… remember, the twelve days between this night and Epiphany (their arrival) begin tomorrow.
The original scene was the newborn’s parents, tired and worn from the birth, the animals in the stable, and the world’s unwanted – all celebrating the arrival of God’s Messiah. Quite a contrast to how we often portray it in our plays and movies (as much as we love them all).
But here is the part that many of them do get right: the significance of that night is that Love came into our midst. The Love that has been moving since the very beginning of creation, breathing life into the world throughout all of history, speaking through prophets and sages throughout the millennia, that Love became flesh and lived among us. And everything changed.
That is why we will look at the wonder of God’s salvation story that is coming into being at Christmas by beginning with Genesis tonight. We will begin at the beginning and end with Christ’s arrival – for that will be enough. Holy Week still looms on the horizon, but that is work for another day.
Tonight we will look in wonder at God choosing to live among us so that we might be reconciled to the God that created us. We hope you will join us in person or online. But remember, if you are joining us in person, do be sure to get there early – we will have limited capacity at each service.
No matter how you worship tonight, may you and your family have a very Merry Christmas tomorrow and the eleven days that follow!
Blessings, Pastor Janie