good news of great joy

This year, for the first time in my life, I will miss Christmas Mass. I am really bummed about that, as I do love the sacredness of Christmas that I always find in the Catholic church, but midnight Mass isn't going to be an option since we'd get back so late and I am opening the Kitchen tomorrow, and since I will be working tomorrow I can't go in the morning. Tonight I decided instead to go to the UCC church in town for their Christmas Eve service to see B1 and Farmer MacDonald do a reading. I am so glad that I went. The service was simple: a reading of the Nativity story being done by several SmallTown community members, with breaks between readers to sing Christmas songs. When the last reader had finished, Pastor L reminded us that the light conquers the dark in the world; this is my favorite message about Christmas.

It was so lovely to walk into this small, old church on Christmas Eve, and feel the presence of so many hopeful people (so many of them Farmers too!); to feel so tucked away on a cold night; to feel so surrounded by the presence of God; to feel a wonder that I often feel at Christmastime, which I felt as a child.

The Gospel of Luke 2:1-14

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem
because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

~ From the New American Catholic Bible


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