“Everything in our society teaches us to move away from people who don’t look like us. But the Gospel calls us to something altogether different. We are to laugh at fear, to lean into suffering, to open ourselves to the stranger. [On Christmas] we remember how JESUS put on flesh and moved into the neighborhood. God getting born in a barn reminds us that God shows up in the most forsaken corners of the earth…JESUS came from Nazareth, a town from which folks said nothing good could come. He knew suffering from the moment he entered the world as a baby refugee born in the middle of a genocide. Jesus knew poverty and pain until he was tortured and executed on a Roman cross.
This is the Jesus we are called to follow.”
– from Common Prayer, A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.
– Luke 2:1-7, The Message
O, Lord. whose patience is beyond comprehension, we pray that You may never tire of helping us grow in faithfulness. Though we fail more than we succeed, raise us up each morning to follow after You again. Guide us today for Your glory’s sake. Lord, it sounds so easy to follow You because You only call us to love. But love is too much for us! Overwhelm us with Your Love so that our song of praise might continue in patient kindness and generous support of our neighbors throughout the day. Amen.
– again, from Common Prayer, A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
Blessed Christmas. From Q Place.