Archive for December 24th, 2020

Christmas Eve

Close your eyes, breathe, and clear your mind. Be still. Center your scattered senses on God’s presence.

REFLECTION: Written by Margot Wallace

In Matthew 2:1-12, we are told how the wise men from the East, carrying gifts for the new ruler of the Jews, made their long, perilous journey. With great faith, they followed the star to Jerusalem to worship the king. They were filled with joy as they worshipped the baby Jesus.  They avoided returning to Herod, who wished to impose harm on the Christ child.

How many of us have embarked on a trip with great anticipation, expecting a celebration in an unknown place? Trips are exciting but also demand focus to ensure the necessary connections for a successful journey. While we are limited in our ability to travel at this time, we still hold dear vivid memories of adventures in distant lands. I recall doing just that one birthday. I was going to Florence for the first time to meet friends and celebrate! Unlike following a star as the wise men did, there were many connections to ensure timely travel. My anticipation was great. Upon arriving, there were many new people to meet and places to see. The atmosphere was merry. Many gifts were presented to me on my special day. Like the three wise men, I had been led into an unknown environment, relying on faith, to proceed to a new place. The evening hours progressed with much celebration. The memories of this birthday are fresh and vivid. Do you have similar travel stories?  Think of one such favorite memory where you travelled to an unknown environment with great anticipation for the coming celebration by nothing more than an itinerary (star).  Perhaps on the way you encountered a “Herod” with his own deceptive agenda? 

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 98:4-6

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Pause and meditate on the Scripture.

PRAYER:  Written by Kathleen Norris, a contemporary American poet and essayist.

Giver of all that is good, we thank you today for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who was born into poverty in a hard and cruel time, who gave himself for us, and lives with you in glory. We thank you for all your friends and prophets who have gone before us, and those who taught us to celebrate this feast of the Nativity with beloved Scripture and beloved carols and loud rejoicing. Help us to teach those who come after us that Christmas is a holy time, a time to seek reconciliation and peace.

Click on the link to see and hear the music video.

MUSIC VIDEO:  All is Calm, San Diego Opera:  Silent Night

IMAGE: Three Wise Men: Painted by Margot Wallace from our church

If using an advent wreath, light the two purple candles, the rose-colored candle, the third purple candle and the center white candle. The fifth white candle represents light and purity and is called “Christ’s candle.”

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