December 25

December 25

You are invited into a time of spiritual reflection and prayer as we move from Advent into Christmas. It has been a season of waiting and listening, a season of expectation and hope. Now we bring that expectation and hope into the new year — listening and sharing the love and light of Jesus!

O Lord, let me not conform to the ways of this world, but transform me by your Holy Spirit; renew me mind and heart that I may discern and do Your Will—what is good and acceptable and perfect. AMEN.


December 25. The light shines forth!


But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  Titus 3:4-7  

REFLECTION from Daniel Harrell
These verses from Titus, though less familiar than the gospels and the prophet Isaiah, nevertheless show up in church liturgies every Christmas. They comprise a single, poetic sentence leading many scholars to conclude them to be some sort of early Christian hymn or creed. Paul calls it a “trustworthy saying.” It is as tight a summary of the gospel as exists anywhere in the Bible—which is what makes it so appropriate for Christmas. Christmas is about nothing if it’s not about Jesus coming into the world to save sinners.
     For Paul, Christ’s coming and eventual coming again was everything. The in-between time was but a turnaround period, a wait for God’s bright future to finally fill up the present. Paul was impatient if only because he was so excited about Jesus coming again to make all things new. It’s like being a kid at Christmas, eagerly sitting perched atop the steps overlooking the Christmas tree, unable to sleep. The good thing, at least from my parents perspective, was that my waiting usually inspired good behavior. True, I knew that my parents would come through with my presents anyway―I was their kid―but why risk it? In a similar fashion, Paul calls God’s children in Titus to be obediently wait, to be ready to do whatever is good and beautiful and gracious and loving and gentle. While there is nothing we can do to earn God’s grace, our lives should show we’ve received it.
     We rejoice in what Christ has done, is doing and will do. The anticipation of another Christmas may be over, but new life is never over until that last Christmas Day when our waiting is finally fulfilled forever.

PRAYER: Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word, Jesus Christ: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives through your Holy Spirit, this Christmas and always; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.


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