“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” vs. 7
Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth is one of the best known stories in all the world. While it’s easy to find holes in the narrative and raise questions about its historicity, the message of truth at its core has found a home in the hearts of believers…and always will. Tonight hundreds of pilgrims will crowd into Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity to celebrate and give glory to God. It won’t be easy to get there. Bethlehem is virtually surrounded by a massive wall of separation and every visitor will have to pass through heavily armed military checkpoints. The scene provides a strange contrast. In the midst of a tense standoff that has been going on for years Christians will be celebrating the nativity and singing the song of the angels, “Peace on earth, goodwill to all.” And it’s precisely that bizarre juxtaposition that gives Luke’s story its power. Somehow we sense that the hope of this world is in that manger. We humans seem to delight in endless battles for power and domination…God’s truth comes in the birth of a baby, not in a palace but in a stable. And so we continue to gather each Christmas Eve, each with our own tale of despair and turmoil, just to hear the story one more time…and pray for peace!
Thought for the Day: What’s my favorite part of Christmas Eve?