Scripture: Luke 2:1-20 (NRSV)
Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, I have stored up wonder-filled memories standing over tide pools watching the tide come in. The wonder of this cyclical renewal is heightened by the manner in which the water rushes powerfully into every nook and cranny, filling the pools, reviving the sea urchins, anemones, mussels, sea cucumbers and the star fish that have been exposed to the salty sea air while the tide has been out. In very short order, that which has been exposed to the harsh elements is flooded with life-giving water and nutrients from the sea. Day in and day out, year after year, the powerful, yet merciful, tidal flood restores and revives the life of the tide pools. It is a pure, glorious gift, built into the ebb and flow of tidal life.
On this day, December 25, as we welcome the coming of Christ to our world once again, we are invited to pause and pay attention. We stand before the tide pools of our lives, aware of the places that are exposed to harsh elements; mindful of the beauty that makes up the complex habitat of our beings and of our communities; conscious of the struggles inherent in our world – struggles to survive and thrive and live in symbiotic relationship with all around us. And in one glorious, strong current, we receive the refreshing, reviving, life-giving flood of God’s mercy flooding every nook and cranny of our lives, gracing us with hope that we are still loved by God, sustained by God and made whole by God. And we join with the heavenly hosts and shout: Glory to God in the highest. And on earth — in every tide pool, in every nook and cranny — peace. Amen.
Thank you for joining us through this season of Advent. We are honored that you have taken the time to hear our stories and share in our reflections. Unless you unsubscribe, Goshen College’s Lenten devotions — beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013 — will automatically come to you. Until then, may the merciful presence of Christ fill every nook and cranny of your life!
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20 (NRSV)
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And 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.
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for seeI am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors! 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us. 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.