Greetings St. John’s Lutheran Church!

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”

–Luke 2:8-12

Are you ready to receive the Christ child into your heart?

This is a popular phrase in Christian media, and I always wonder exactly what the writers mean by it: Are we talking about an awesome baby, who will charm shepherds and kings? Or are we talking about a human baby, who will fuss all night and throw up on my nice shirt? Because, as Christians, we believe that Jesus is both of these things: awesome and ordinary.

The truth is that we are never ready for a new human being – awesome or ordinary – to enter our life, especially a human being that will expose our weakness, win our hearts, and lead us to be completely transformed. Instead, we are distracted by our busy schedules and caught off guard by the demands of family, school, and work.

And yet, the Christ child urges us – as all children do – to abandon our to-do lists and look at the world with the eyes of a child: with wonder. How could we ever take for granted the beauty of God’s creation, the comfort of our homes, the abundance in our cupboards, and the love in our family’s faces? And yet we do just this so often.

So let this Advent and Christmas be an opportunity to look at life with new eyes:

• Where is there beauty that you have missed?
• Where is there abundance that you have forgotten to appreciate?
• Where are there people who love you and are eager to spend time with you?

The amazing part of accepting God’s gift of the Christ child into our hearts is that we discover the wonder of all that we have been given and are seized with the urge to share this with others.

May the generous love of the Christ child inspire generosity in you.

In Christ, Pastor Kat

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