Christmas Eve Scripture ~ Psalm 66 and Luke 2.
One of the most heart-warming expressions of Christmas is the Nativity. It speaks of the mystery of God’s wisdom. Why God chose to send his son into our world as a baby of humble birth, born in common surroundings, we do not know. What we do know is that God reached out to all people including the poor and wealthy, the simple and the wise, the powerless and the powerful. All who found him knelt in humility before him. Knowing God is possible because he came to us, at our level. Whenever we see a Nativity we find ourselves with all of the figures bowing before the manger, overwhelmed by God’s expression of love in coming to us.
St. Francis of Assisi is often credited with the first manger scene about 800 years ago. For a people who could not read it was an effective visual aid in telling the story of the birth of Jesus.
Nativities populate my house during Advent and Christmas seasons. My brother, Charlie, gifted me my most cherished nativity scene from The Holy Land. He was stationed with the USArmy in Egypt and had the opportunity to make his way to Israel. And he thought of me and brought me home an olive wood nativity from Nazareth. In turn, when I see this nativity, I think of the kindness of my big brother.
The nativity animals that surround the olive wood manger have such expressive faces. The shepherd is weather-worn. The magi are stately. And the Holy Parents – they are serene. Mary gazes adoringly at her son. And Joseph holds a lantern – shining a light, helping draw people in towards the Light of the World.
Come shepherds, come kings. Come family and friend and foe. Come one and all! O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, O Come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!
Join us for Christmas Eve Worship at South Shore UMC
3pm – SSFamily Worship
5pm – Traditional Worship
7pm – Contemporary Worship
And then on Sunday, December 29, join the South Shore Family for ONE Service at 9:30am. Regular worship services will resume – 8:30am Traditional and 11:00am Contemporary – on January 5, 2020.
Prayer: “O come, Desire of nations bind all peoples in one heart and mind. From dust thou brought us forth to life; deliver us from earthly strife. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”* Amen.
*”O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” The United Methodist Hymnal 211.