The Nativity of our Lord
Christmas Eve, December 24th
And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased.” (Luke 2:1‑14)
After days and weeks of anticipation, we are finally at Christmas Eve! We hear the good tidings of great joy from the angels. With the shepherds, we run to Bethlehem, to the manger, to the Christ child!
If nothing else, our hope is that spending Advent in the Psalter has broadened our perspective. Jesus doesn’t arrive unexpectedly in the New Testament, nor is his birth in Bethlehem a change in God’s thinking — a new direction. In Luke 24, on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection, “beginning with Moses and all the prophets, (Jesus) interpreted to (the two disciples) in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” For Jesus, the Scriptures were the Old Testament — and in the psalms, as in the prophets, we hear of God’s plan for the coming of Jesus, the birth of God’s own Son to be Savior and Christ. In the fullness of time, God sent his Son, and the psalms bear witness to it — as do all the Scriptures!
This should give us great comfort and assurance that what God promises, he fulfills! The Bible would be nothing to us if God had not sent his Son, as promised. With the birth of Jesus, every promise, every word, every verse of Holy Scripture is trustworthy and true. As foretold, the King of kings, Lord of lords, Prince of peace has been born to us, and in that birth, we have hope for our future and the future of the world! In the midst of darkness there is light; in the midst of violence, there is peace; in a world of grief and loss, there is life — and abundant life! Glory to God in the highest! Gloria in excelsis deo!
Prayer: Almighty God, you made this night to shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that here on earth we may walk in the light of Jesus’ presence and, in the last day, wake to the brightness of his glory, through your Son. Amen. (LBW)