How precious the Bible is, for it contains the stories of God’s self-revelation to men and women of faith who went before us. Such encounters are holy and defy description. Thus all scripture is a telling beyond expression and a hearing’ beyond comprehension . So it helps to think of the Bible as a place-a place where God and persons meet. That pushes me, as I read it, to stand in the place and re-experience the presence of God in their time and mine.
Today we read again the wonderful Christmas story of a baby in the manger, angels in the sky, a pondering mother, and worshiping shepherds. The Luke passage is so familiar that we find it hard to really hear it. So let’s try to be in that place on the night we are reading about. Imagine Mary ‘s weariness and Joseph’s anxiety as they settle into the stable. Feel the pains of birth and the warmth of the animals’ breath . Experience the joy and release of the baby’s delivery. See Mary and Joseph resting on clean hay, holding the baby close, thanking God .
Or stand with the shepherds under a night sky. As it grows brighter and brighter and a sense of holiness overwhelms us, peace and new hope begin to grow in our hearts. We experience what they did that night-the holy divine made visible as a baby who is God’s love incarnate! We cannot understand this mystery, but today we can kneel by the manger and allow the presence of God in Jesus to flood our souls .
SUGGESTION FOR REFLECTION:
Reread Luke 2:5-20. See it as a place. Be present on that night. Allow the word to speak to your heart, and give thanks.