"O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant."
We all know the story. The shepherds traveled to Bethlehem and found the little Lord Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. But what I think we often overlook is what the shepherds did after they left the manger.
"When they saw this, they made known what had been told about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them" (Luke 2:17-18).
The shepherds shared the good news that God is now with us, has become one of us and remains with us, bringing abundant life to all. As we gather this Christmas to celebrate the birth of the Christ child and hear the wondrous story, let us join together as a church to proclaim the good news. "Christ the child was born for you!"
This time also marks the completion of our observance of over 25 years together in Christ as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We are a church that belongs to Christ, and we give thanks and praise to God for the many ways in which the coming of Jesus has blessed this church and our world.
It is all too easy for us these days to be constantly aware that this world is fraught with turmoil and danger. The same was true for the world in which Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus lived. But the ultimate hope for all people across all times is the hope God gives us in the Word made flesh, our Lord Immanuel.
"O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!"
Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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