Read Luke 2:8-20
Luke 2:17 " When they (the shepherds) saw this (Jesus), they made known what had been told them about this child;..." (NRSV)
Hans Vaxby, from Helsinki, Finland, used to work at the local telegraph office in his hometown, long before email or video conferencing. For several years, he delivered telegrams on Christmas Eve to families whose husbands and sons were away from home. Many times, after receiving a telegram, people would say, "Wait, we can't let you go just like that, without a little piece of our Christmas!" Then they would give him an apple, an orange, or some sweets.
At that time, Christmas was a personal family holiday. After a brief visit to church, the family would celebrate behind closed doors as a family. But there was nothing private about Christmas. The good news of the birth of Jesus is for people around us and throughout the world.
Hans tells us the presence of Jesus is our greatest hope. In Jesus there is hope that people of different nationalities and beliefs can understand and respect each other. In him we have hope that families who have experienced pain and tragedy will be able to reconcile and draw closer to each other. In Jesus we have hope that we can leave behind all mistakes, regrets, and sins and reconcile with God. So we need not hesitate in bringing a piece of the good news of Christmas to everyone we meet today and throughout the New Year.
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the joy of Christmas. Help us to share that joy with others. Amen.