Pause

If you have ever spent time around an infant, you know that they are completely helpless. Besides breathing and crying, they need assistance to do practically anything else.

And yet the Creator of all, God Almighty, enters the world in this way — vulnerable, dependent, and helpless. It’s in this kind of vulnerability that we understand the love and nature of God.

Take a moment to consider how this little baby changes your life, how baby Jesus changes everything.

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Listen

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:15-20

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Think

And the shepherds returned yelling, “Merry Christmas!” Okay, so the shepherds wouldn’t have said that. Maybe they returned shouting, “Praise God!,” “Hallelujah,” or even “Ya-hoo!” Compare that to Mary’s reaction. The text says that while all the others were amazed at the shepherds’ story and the meaning of Jesus’ birth, she remained quiet, pondering all these things in her heart.

Today many of us, though perhaps not all of us, are with family and friends. There are probably some gifts being given and received, some wonderful meals being prepared, and hugs all around. I invite you to take a moment today to be like the shepherds, joyfully celebrating all the blessings God has given you and the world. But also take some time to be like Mary, quietly reflecting on the day — what it means to you, and what these gifts from God inspire you to do in response.

Bill Buchanan

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Pray

God, may you see my jubilation today in celebration of Christ’s birth, and may you feel my quiet reflections of what your love means to me. Amen.

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Go

Now go out into the world knowing that God goes before you, walks beside you, stands behind you, and is at work within you, empowering you to make a difference in the world.

Bill Buchanan

Bill Buchanan is an ordained pastor, Christian educator, and the Executive Director of Asheville Youth Mission and Raleigh Youth Mission. He lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina and loves being a dad to his two teenage kids.

Advent Waiting: Away in a Manger/O Come, All Ye Faithful

David Burroughs

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