Pause

Ever wondered what it means to keep Christ in Christmas? Well, you’re doing it right now!

You’re taking a break from shopping or Christmas goodies or a gift exchange because a nudge from the Spirit invited you to pause.

You are taking specific steps to live out your belief that Jesus is the reason for the season.

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Listen

Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”

Luke 2:8-14

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Think

I found a video on YouTube that shows how to make a Bible-time costume in five minutes without sewing. What did we do before the Internet gave instructions for everything? For the three years I played a shepherd in the church Christmas pageant I wore my Dad’s bathrobe, and I used a broom handle as a shepherd’s staff.

Some kids back then thought being a shepherd was not cool, because after all the lead parts were assigned (like Mary and Joseph) and all the speaking parts were decided (like the Innkeeper and the Angel Gabriel), then everybody else was invited to be a shepherd. Pastor Judy assured us, “There are no small parts in the Christmas story.”

The cool thing about the shepherds is that they are the first people outside the stable to hear about God’s amazing miracle: “A Savior is born today in David’s city!” Just as in the Christmas story, there are no small parts in life. God invites us all into the story of faith and calls each of us to play a special part.

Tammy Wiens

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Pray

God of all good things, thank you for the extraordinary love you offer to ordinary people. Thank you for the gift of Jesus. Thank you for the gift of Christmas. Thank you for giving me a special part in your big story. Amen.

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Go

May your heart be full of gladness
And the peace that covers sadness
May your joy be overflowing
And your many blessings growing
May you have the time you've longed for
With the people that you love
May you have yourself a merry Christmas now.

Sara Groves, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” 2008

Tammy Wiens

Tammy Wiens is the Associate for Christian Formation at the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Among many and varied tasks, she serves as Mission Coordinator for UKirk college ministries. She also works alongside Christian educators from many different denominations to figure out together what it means to teach and grow in faith. When not at work, Tammy loves to ride her bike, walk a golf course and hit a few balls, and make music with her husband, Sheldon.

Unto Us: Silent Night

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