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Merry Christmas! Today is the day we have been preparing for throughout Advent.
Jesus is born. Here is the story as recorded in Luke’s Gospel.
“ In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should
be enrolled in the tax lists. This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed
Syria.  Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled.  Since Joseph belonged to
David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to
David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea.  He went to be enrolled together with Mary,
who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant.  While they were there,
the time came for Mary to have her baby.  She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son,
wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in
the guestroom.
Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night.  The Lord’s
angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.
The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous
news for all people.  Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.
 This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a
manger.”  Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel
praising God. They said, “Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those
whom he favors.”

When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right
now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed
to us.” They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the
manger.  When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child.
 Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them.  Mary
committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. The shepherds
returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.
Everything happened just as they had been told.”
All five candles are lit.
We have been waiting for this day, Loving God. We have prepared ourselves for this
special day. On this Christmas Day, let us live as those who let hope, peace, joy, and
love reign in our lives. As the candles burn brightly and light our path, let us live as
those who have the Christ’s light burning inside us today and everyday. Amen.