Last Sunday our church held its children’s Christmas program in the evening. The leaders and children did a wonderful job of sharing the message of Christmas, and all had a great time enjoying the readings and music. After the songs had been performed and small treats given to young and old alike the program was finished. But no one moved to leave.
There were a few moments of awkward conversation and me standing at the back of the church ready to turn off the lights, but no one moved. Someone commented how odd it was, but in a good way, that folks wanted to linger and enjoy the time together. It was as if they expected more.
Today’s reading is the last in the passages for Advent. It is the last for this calendar year. But it is not the end. It speaks of the hope we have for what is to come. It speaks of the joy we can have in knowing that we are saved. It is a message of love and peace.
The story of Christmas and our Advent devotions began in Isaiah. They looked at passages from Matthew, Luke, John, Romans, Hebrews, Exodus, and Psalms. And we have returned to Isaiah. The Christmas story traverses the Bible, moving in an eternal circle. That circle can remind us of the eternal nature of God. It reminds us of the eternal message of Christmas.
The story of Christmas is a story that is complete and whole, yet at the same time is unending. The story begins with the prophecies and then includes the announcements of angels, the birth of a baby, and the resurrection of a Savior.
Now the Christmas story continues. It flows on in the hearts and souls of those who believe, who accept the birth of the baby as the birth of the Messiah. The story continues in our own salvation and in the love that we share with others.
The Christmas story is one that does not end, but shines the light of love and joy into the lives and hearts of those who need to know of the hope and mercy that God offers.
We are all part of the Christmas story, recipients of God’s incredible gift. We are offered hope, joy, love and peace. We can know that we need not fear because the Lord is our salvation. And now we must continue the story by sharing the news of Christ with all who need to hear.
Shalom. Peace to you.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you be part of the story?
This is the last of our daily devotions until January 5, 2009. We pray that God will bless each of you with a holiday full of joy, and a new year of hope and love. – Peggy and Roger