As the Christmas Eve service ended, the organ began and within just a few moments the sanctuary filled with song:
”Joy to the World the Lord is come: Let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare Him room, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and heaven and nature sing.” 
This year the candles shone rather than flickered but smiles were still shared and was love expressed. Even in the midst of all the uncertainty, upheaval and disruption from where I sit and what I noticed, Christmas is very much alive; it is powerful and there is great potential for people of faith.  There is much we can do now that Christ is born.  It is only because of Christ that we do what we do.  Christmas is more than the culmination of the Advent season.  This annual occasion is about new beginnings; it is about remembering, reflecting and being renewed.  We have arrived on this morning to witness and welcome the One born in a stable, the One who embodies the height, depth, and breadth of God’s love for all of creation. So we celebrate God’s incarnate presence in the person of Jesus. We greet this day with a confidence that it is true that God’s love is real, that God is present and we have a gift that changes what is possible.
On this morn, in between the giving and receiving, during the food, football and fellowship, throughout the celebration trust God deeply and do not be limited by what others say. What God did for us in becoming flesh is absolutely amazing.  It is the gift of grace.  Be blessed this day for to us is born a Savior who is Christ the Lord.  Merry Christmas!

Scripture Reading: Luke 2: 1-7
“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”

Reflection Questions:
How is God’s love real for you?
Who needs the gift of your support?
What amazed you this day?

Prayer: Holy God, thank you for all the blessings in my life and thank you for Christ who comes to live in me and to live for us.  Help me to see in me what you see and fill me with a deep trust. Let this Christmas celebration be for me a moment of recognition and response. Amen.

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