the nativity of our lord
the PRAYER. . .
All-powerful and unseen God, the coming of your light into our world has brightened weary hearts with peace. Call us out of darkness, and empower us to proclaim the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING. . .
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
the DEVOTION. . .
Money can’t buy happiness! That’s what I’ve been told, anyway. But listen to commercials, this time of year, you’d think that’s the only way to get it! Spend! Spend! Then, spend some more! The more you spend, the happier you become! Now, day-after, it’s all gone. The bell-ringers! Toy drives! Food drives! And it’s back to business-as-usual! Money can’t buy happiness, but, it seems, you can rent it, for a few days …
More often than not, Christmas here in the church becomes an echo, a reflection, of Christmases out there. Flowing from the more-fortunate to the less-fortunate, from the haves to the have-nots. How many times have we heard that without us – without our money – “they” wouldn’t have a Christmas! Truth is, Christmas costs nothing. Not the rich! Not the poor! It’s a gift! All a gift! Unearned! Undeserved! Mary? Joseph? Jesus … especially Jesus? They don’t cost us one, thin dime! It’s all a gift from a generous god to a needy world! Nothing trickles down. It all bubbles out! All bubbles – from a manger – out!
Bob Barndt, pastor