Two thousand years ago it would have been the star, the angel choir, the wise men or even the shepherds. The baby was at the center of it all, but round about, that night and ever since, God has moved in the creation and in the lives of people to bring signs of Christmas to our world -- to point to Jesus, God's best gift.
Recently, I sat in on a rehearsal for our annual choir cantata. During the course of the cantata, a high school girl, a corporate executive, a pharmacy technician, a school teacher and a veterans service officer sang solos. They were joined by two more students, a writer and a retired government worker, doing speaking parts. The choir and contemporary groups were made up, same as in all churches, of men and women, young and old, various occupations, etc.
During the next couple of weeks, they will be joined by the Sunday school kids doing their program and by the teens doing theirs. All will be bringing signs of Christmas, of "Immanuel" -- God with us -- to our world.
Those signs won't be confined to "the church." The God that we proclaim and celebrate at Christmas also moves in the lives of people in their homes, work places and on the streets and in the shops and businesses of our communities.
As a matter of fact, there is no place that our God does not move (Psalm 139:1-18) to bring faith, hope and love, to be in passionate pursuit of all people to give life in Christ. On the first Christmas, God used an innkeeper who at least was willing to share his barn. God used shepherds who somehow managed to get time off from work to come and see. God used a wicked king and his scholars. God used learned people, from a distant land, who sought to find a new king born under a new star. God used a young couple who surely didn't understand what was going on, but who did their best to trust.
"Signs of Christmas?" Have you seen some this year? Are you one this year? Thanks be to God!
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