Weekly Devotion & Prayer - December 26, 2022

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
The night was filled with the rush of angel song; startled from their sleep, shepherds hastened to see the miracle of the new birth; exhausted from travel and birthing, Mary and Joseph nestled with their newborn in awe and wonder; a baby, new to the world, began a life of transformation and blessing. God’s Word entered the world – God, Emanuel, God-with-us – incarnate deity, advent of peace, compassionate grace, challenger of the establishment, advocate of the marginalized, bringer of light to illumine our way. This was a night of new beginnings in a world filled with conflict, of healing from long-held hurt, of hope in the midst of grief and despair, of holiness in a time of oppression and fear. God’s Word, alive, embodied – loved, cherished, nurtured, cradled by Mary and Joseph as they began the tremendous journey of parenting this long-awaited baby.
For nearly two thousand years, Christians have been remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus, each time from the perspectives and experiences of the times in which they have lived, both personally and culturally. While specific events have been different across the centuries, the story and meaning of this birth relate to our situations timelessly – the message is always new and always ancient, directly responding to our greatest needs and aspirations, calling us to live fully, to serve generously, to care compassionately, love whole-heartedly.
This year, in this Christmas season, in this time of turning a new calendar year, in the growing light of each day, may you experience the wonder of the miracle of life, healing of pain and sorrow, and sparkles of delight. May you follow the star which leads us to the Christ-child and feel again, the wonder and awe of the new beginnings and new life which God is creating anew, again and again and again.
Holy God, touch us with your hope and love, fill our hearts with your wisdom and compassion, birth in us a new and renewed sense of life. Help us to listen for the rush of angel wings as they speak your messages of great joy and hope for our world. We pray in the name of the newborn Christ. Amen.