Tonight, we celebrate the coming of the Messiah, the Son of God as we journey with Joseph and Mary to witness the birth of this most holy child.
Reflection: This will be a journey of light...
Mary is visited by an angel that says she will bear a very special child who will be a light to the people. She responds, "May it be so."
Reflection: Are there things in your life that are waiting to be born, and all you need to do is say, "Yes, may it be so!"
Joseph was worried about being a father to an illegitimate child. But an angel assures him in a dream, that this will be the role of his lifetime; that this child shall be named Jesus, meaning, He saves. Joseph stepped up to the challenge.
Reflection: Where have you been called out of your comfort zone? Are you willing to go?
Mary visits her cousin, Elizabeth, while she is pregnant.
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months.
Reflection: Who might need you to advocate for them this season?
Scripture says that everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be counted; not convenient for Mary who was "great with child." The walk to Bethlehem, even with a donkey, would have taken 4-5 days. And there wasn't a hospital in sight.
Reflection: Have you ever felt panicked about your circumstances? God is with you!
While in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger because there was no room in the inn.
A stable is certainly not an ideal place to birth a child. The Savior of the world knew humble and difficult beginnings.
Reflection: Name a few simple things for which you are humbly grateful this season.
Jesus was “swaddled” — wrapped tightly in and laid in a manger on a bed of straw. Like the blanket that lined the manger with warmth, what simple way can you prepare a place for Christ to be more present in your heart this year?
Reflection: What can you offer as a way of "wrapping others with love and peace" today?
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
Reflection: Go in peace and shine the light of Christ for all the world!