January 1, 2015

 Gospel LK 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.
When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.

The first Christmas!  Ahhhh, what a night!
Announced by an angel, the Word of God became flesh in the form of a human infant.
And, what did the angel say?
“I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior, yes, the Messiah, the Lord, has been born in Bethlehem!”
Incredible! God, tired of sending his prophets and messengers to earth to be abused and killed, decides to  send His Word, in the form of a human being, his only son. And, as the angel announced, this was being done for the sake of “everyone!”
Looking ahead from the nativity, I’m reminded that Jesus learned a great deal about human nature in his first thirty years of life, as evidenced by what he told his apostles before he sent them out; “Go; behold, I send you out as lambs  in the midst of wolves” Luke 10:3.
Sadly, Christ, this gift from God, was not universally accepted, either in his own time or in ours.
Jesus, however, did not expect to be embraced by everyone. He came to plant a seed. The seed of knowledge; of God’s unconditional love for each one of us, his children.
Like a runner in a relay race, as he approached the end of his lap, he held the baton behind him to be grasped by the next runner.
Do I believe what the angels sang two thousand years ago? Will I grasp and carry the baton of God’s love as I run this race of life?