Through the Watches of the Night

It is Christmas Eve, December 24, 2019. Each pew in the worship area is filled with friends, neighbors, and family members anxiously awaiting the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is an awesome and awe-inspiring service.
We started with singing various Christmas hymns. The children completed a spectacular performance of “The Christmas Story”. It was narrated by two friends who literally ‘ran into one another’. One of the friends is excited to hear the story while the other says ‘how boring and irrelevant’ the story is for today. As the story unfolds, the one friend correlates how we have present day shepherds such as farmers, teachers, waiters, and pastors. THe point was we are all shepherds today.
On March 7, 1965, African-Americans marched in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery, the state’s capital, for equal rights in voting. On March 8, 1965, Marine troops land on the beaches of Danang, Vietnam taking an active role in the war in Vietnam. December 25, 1965, there’s a 24 hour Christmas truce in Vietnam. There was peace and comfort in this small slice of time. I wonder what stories were being shared during this time of peace and celebration of the birth of Christ. The “Charlie Brown Christmas” aired in 1965. There were lots of pivotal changes in 1965 (and other years for that matter). 
There is comfort in the Christmas story. When we share stories, there are times when some of us our so impatient and want to finish the story or interrupt the story to add our details. When we stop to listen to the story and not try to add our commentaries, we discover new details to the old, old story that bring new life, meaning, and dimension to it.
When you think about the story. Do you wonder if the shepherds and wise men were afraid when the angels appear? Do you ponder if Mary or Joseph had any fear? When fear enters into our thoughts, it can dim or put out the joy. Do you let all the ‘stuff’ that you want to get done before Christmas dim or snuff out your joy of the season? I know in years past I have been so tired by Christmas that I haven’t enjoyed the reason for the season. 
Remember fo find quiet moments in this crazy world to ponder the story and find joy. Remember Mary’s son and re-tell the story of the baby. FInd peach and stillnes in the craziness of life and celebrate the baby.

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