Pause

Be still to listen.

Be brave to hear.

Be centered to behold a love too immense for our understanding.

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Listen

In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.

Luke 2:1-7

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Think

We made it! We have arrived at the night of the birth of our savior, our Messiah, our Christ! His entrance to this world in the manger was not grand, and yet Jesus is here as a gift of God’s love for us. Jesus came to pour out himself for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus is love.

Much of God’s love does not have fanfare. Christmas is a special day when we might celebrate with gifts, family, and a big meal. But remember God’s love in the daily, too. When your parents/guardians show you affection, when your partner does, when your friends want to spend time with you — remember God’s love. And even if you have none of this, know that God will never stop loving you, even if you struggle with that sometimes.

Keep this in mind as we prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus into the world. And in welcoming Jesus, who is love, we also prepare ourselves to love God and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas

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Pray

God, on this day, help me to see the love with no fanfare, the love of the daily. On this most special of days, Christmas Eve, show me that all love is special, and that my love for others and for you is the most holy. In the name of the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, I pray, amen.

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Go

What is the love of God calling you to do?

What is the love of God’s creation calling you to do?

What would you do for the love of the body of God?

Go, to love.

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas

Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas is a senior at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, majoring in sociology. She is the First Lay Deputy from the Diocese of Arizona to the 79th Episcopal General Convention. This will be her second time as deputy. Her writing has also been featured as a columnist for The Episcopal Journal.

Unto Us: O Holy Night

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