Luke 2, 8-14
Something to read
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’
New Revised Standard Version
To read the King James version click here
Something to think about
Today’s text helps us remember that Christmas cannot be an isolated event. Today’s text is a pointer... and verse 11 is that pointer to the cross. A saviour is born. You cannot have Christmas without the cross.
The cross needs to be our vision, because officially, Christmas is over. Without the cross, Christmas loses Christ. And for many, they are left with a mass amount of emptiness!
The wood of the manger will become the wood of the cross. The nails that held the manger together will become the nails that held the man there. The cry of the newborn baby is the same cry of the man on the cross… crying; ‘MY LIFE IS FOR YOU… I AM ALL YOU NEED!’
There are people out there who need more than a nativity scene, more than a gift... They need the baby, the manger, the man and the cross. Don’t let Christmas just become a cross on the calendar this year. Let it be a cross for our lives.
By keeping the manger and the cross in mind today, we remember it is not over and we share shouts of praise with the angels: ‘Glory to God in the highest.’
Something to do
Find your diary or calendar. Instead of marking an X on yesterday's date, mark it with a resurrection cross (+). Reflect on it for a moment and know that the story is not over.
Something to pray
God of beginnings and ends, as we move between events and dates, help us to know that you are the constant between them all. We thank you for the bigger picture. Lord we thank you that you are not just for a season but for a lifetime and an eternity. Holy one, grant us strength to be the hope for those who need more than just Christmas.
Today's contributor is Richard Stein, a former student at Westminster College, Cambridge.