Reflection for Christmas Eve
Luke 2: 1-7
Rev. Elder Dr. Candace R. Shultis
By now our homes are full of all kinds of Christmas decorations. There are ornaments some of us have had since childhood. There is probably at least one Christmas tree.
I knew a man who lived in a two-bedroom apartment. He decorated for every holiday and at Christmas held open houses so everyone could come and marvel. One year I counted over twenty different trees (and at least one train set running along a carefully constructed track near the ceiling). He borrowed other people’s storage units to hold everything and it took him weeks to get it all set up. He was meticulous with every detail and every year the display got larger and larger.
We keep things a little simpler at our home. One small table top size tree (although it has as many lights as I can fit onto its branches) decorated with dachshund ornaments and other ornaments we have gathered through the years. We set up a creche which my father made and place all the figures in and around it. And there are a few new donkeys or camels added to the scene now and then. Just about everything fits into a few boxes on a top shelf in a closet in a ‘spare’ bedroom.
Joseph and Mary were looking for a ‘spare’ room in Bethlehem just as Mary was about to give birth to Jesus. Luke tells us that they laid him in a manger, a feeding trough used for cattle or sheep or donkeys or horses, because there was no room for them in the inn.
How full have we made our lives with things that may not really matter? If Jesus would show up at our home or church, would we recognize him (or her)? Has the Christmas season been so full of preparing for Christmas that we have forgotten to prepare for Jesus?
On this night may we quiet the noise and in the silence, listen for, look for, and experience a new birth.