Day 12/January 5 Devotion

Reflection by Alex Stall

At the time of Jesus’s birth, there was a lot going on. His parents made the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem; there was no guest room for them, so the baby was born in a stable. Then a group of shepherds come to see the baby and share what they had been told about who this child was. His mother, who had already been told by an angel that this baby was “Son of the Most High” was now hearing other people tell her what they understood about what had happened in this place. She listened and treasured what she was experiencing. She does more than remember, though – through everything, she’s trying to understand what all this means!

In our own lives at Christmas, life often becomes a whirl of work, holiday music, preparation, and celebration. “Doing the holidays” may also be a source of stress and sadness. This truly amazing year has forced us to approach the season differently. We have an opportunity that perhaps we don’t always get to reflect on just what it means that this little infant was born; a chance to reflect on how God comes to us as the weakest of all human beings; a chance to think on what that means we must do to help nurture and grow this gift that we are given from God’s own self.

Luke 2:17-19

When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said. But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean.

Questions to Ponder

  1. Imagine yourself as Mary hearing the words of the shepherds. What do you feel? 
  2. What in particular about the Christmas Story do you treasure in your heart? 
  3. Howard Thurman wrote that after “shepherds are back with their flock / The work of Christmas begins.” How does the Christmas story inspire you to live and love day to day?

Silence for Reflection

Prayer

Gracious God, we are so often surrounded by sights, sounds, and activity that can overwhelm us, and divert our attention away from you and your abounding love. In these times, when we are not able to be with family and friends as we would like to be, turn our thoughts to you and your love. Remind us of the love you showed to us and let us be inspired to live in that love with the world around us. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

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