- In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son.She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:1-14).
Being that I spent so many years rejecting Jesus, Christmas continues to mean a great deal to me. Before the coming of Christ into my life Christmas was just a commercial oriented celebration and exchange of gifts for me, but ever since the day that He spoke to me Christmas has continued to mean so much more to me. One memory I hope to never forget is the first Christmas I got to spend with my daughters after I was released from prison after six years.
As the year winds down, we have a great opportunity to reflect upon where God has brought us from and to where He is leading us. Whether it is from knowing that you can lead a more virtuous life, or whether you feel burned out on love, I believe the coming of God into the world as a little infant is something that we can always cling to – to help us believe in ourselves more. In other words, in the light of God loving us so much that He gave us His only begotten Son as a little baby, there is no reason for us to ever doubt that we are capable of giving love when giving love seems impossible. For, if God did it, we too can do it with His help, and there is no reason for us to ever think that we incapable of receiving love when God loved us in the face of us hating Him. For, if we believe that we aren’t worthy of the love of neighbor, then accepting the love of God is out of our reach.
Taking the time to look at the face of the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes while lying in an animal feeding trough in a damp dark cave is yet another reminder of how simple God’s love is. Therefore, let us not make this season or our spiritual life something complex, because God doesn’t. Loving to the best of our ability, through the grace of God is all that is required. So don’t just do it, rather, do it with God and it will be just right.
Jesus, you have come into the world for me;
so help me preserve in the world for those you love and for those who hate you.
Your Father sent you for our sake;
so send me as the Father sent you for the sake of my neighbors.
After doing all that you came here to do you returned home to your Father in Glory;
so after I have do all that you created me to do, call me home to glory to live with you forever and ever.
Scripture texts in this blog are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.