December 25, 2021
The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Picture Perfect?
…I proclaim to you good news of great joy…
Luke 2:10

In Christmas art and carols, a glowing baby Jesus sleeps upon soft straw, swaddled in white germ-free linen. Perhaps a scratch-and-sniff Christmas card would better capture the authentic Bethlehem experience!

The reality of Christmas, then and now, is so different from our fantasy. We live in the messy and broken world that God came to save. In our own communities, families face the same plight as Mary and Joseph: Unexpected pregnancy. Relocating at the worst possible time. Fleeing to seek refuge in another land. Uncertainty about how everything will turn out.

Our challenge is to live and proclaim the promise of Christmas despite hurts and hardships around us. If we sanitize the story of Christ’s breaking into the world, like a sentimental Hallmark movie, we miss the world-shaking magnitude that God accomplished as a tiny Child. May our hearts be stirred in our Christmas worship by the true Nativity scene, so that Jesus may find room to grow and change us from the inside out.

- Steve Pable

Isaiah 9:1-6 • Psalm 96:1-3, 11-13 Titus 2:11-14 • Luke 2:1-14

Comments

Elizabeth P. Murphy Respond to comment
December 25, 2021 at 04:20 PM

Hollywood and Disney versions of God's true story never quite got it straight, although It's A Wonderful Life comes very close! And that was labeled on the Hollywood discard list until it was "accidentally" aired for the public in 1974, just in time! How many real lives it helped save we will never know. Either way, the true Christmas Miracle is every day in our hearts, never ever to be taken, in the real world around us each day. So, a merry and lovely Christmas for all. God bless us all, every one.

December 25, 2021 at 01:19 PM

Amen! Merry Christmas, LF family! :)

December 25, 2021 at 11:33 AM

Amen! I had to laugh at scratch-n-sniff Christmas cards! I'm sure I would not have been patient in that situation. Looking at it now, it's clear that God had complete control of what appeared to be chaos. I trust Him to bring us through chaotic times, as He has brought me through so much. Merry Christmas to everyone!

December 25, 2021 at 10:17 AM

Jesus we Love and Thank You so much!!! May you all have a Very Blessed Christmas! Remember to keep all Our Troop's in Prayer!

December 25, 2021 at 09:49 AM

Merry Christmas to all the LFF and to our families and communities. I loved this reflection. Thank you Steve for writing it. So many shiny sparkly things when the birth was nothing but. I woke up this morning thinking of Mary as she was riding on a donkey and going into labor. Did she finally say to Joseph, “Can we please stop here, I’m not feeling well.” I would have been grumbling the whole time.. I had a tough time riding in a comfy car when I was at the end of my pregnancy, let alone riding on a donkey for days. Then being rejected by many for lodging. Finally heading into a barn! No bed, no nurses, no family, just animals and Joseph. Did he receive help? I imagine it must have been terrifying, yet i can also imagine them both saying, God has provided this far…all will be as should be. May we all have that faith as we welcome the Light of the world.

Elizabeth
December 28, 2021 at 01:46 PM

Jane...just beautiful.

Margaret
December 25, 2021 at 01:17 PM

Thank you Jane, I also was touched by your comment. You painted the picture perfectly.

Kjc
December 25, 2021 at 10:28 AM

Jane I loved your reflections this morning. I also have been thinking about the delivery of my four children. First took 18 hours of active labor. Living faith Merry Christmas please keep you and your family safe. Steve's comments get me thinking I can do more. Mass yesterday was special it catered to the children who were given bells to ring during parts of the Mass and when they went home when they felt Jesus was hugging them to ring it then. Left Mass telling people around me. " every time you hear a bell an angel gets their wings " Please pray for the people who have no one to pray for them and the essential workers and their families and the souls in purgatory. Prayer warriors you guys are super. Ken

December 25, 2021 at 09:21 AM

Merry Christmas LFF! Praying for all those who are alone on this birthday of our Savior. Many blessings to all and continued prayers for all those that ask, and those that don’t. God Bless us and our families.

December 25, 2021 at 09:02 AM

Merry Christmas LF Family! Joy to the world. God bless prayers for all. Come let us adore him! Just held my grandson up to look at our nativity and to touch our Lord Jesus!

December 25, 2021 at 08:48 AM

Here we are, on Christmas Day having just passed the night, that night which changed life forever! That moment when Mercy descended to our world we behold Him as a tiny baby in a manger. He comes to surround us with His love to teach us the true meaning of our lives here on earth. He IS PEACE, HE IS JOY! Let us keep our gaze on Him and allow Him to guide us through this life into eternal and perfect Joy! Watch for the miracles of Christmas! They are all around us! We need to recognize Them and glorify the Lord for all of our Christmas miracles! Merry Christmas to all! What a gift from the Lord!

December 25, 2021 at 08:38 AM

Merry Christmas to everyone. May there be Peace on earth. Remember the souls in purgatory, those with no one to pray for them, and those who are alone.

Debbie Lucia Barrett Respond to comment
December 25, 2021 at 08:27 AM

merry christmas to all !praise Jesus for being born !

December 25, 2021 at 08:06 AM

Merry Christmas to the LFF. Emmanuel God is with us.

December 25, 2021 at 07:47 AM

Merry Christmas to the LFF :)

December 25, 2021 at 07:34 AM

Sweet Baby Jesus bring us your PEACE!

December 25, 2021 at 06:52 AM

Merry Christmas to all you Living Faith prayer warriors!

December 25, 2021 at 06:23 AM

Wonderful reflection on keeping the true Christmas spirit even through the messiness of life experiences. Christmas blessings to all the LF family!

December 25, 2021 at 05:20 AM

Merry Christmas to the LF family.

December 25, 2021 at 03:08 AM

Great reflection, the reality of the challenges of life, even on Christmas Day, should not detract from the hope given to us all by the birth of Jesus. That hope is an ever present reality. God bless you all, happy Christmas

December 25, 2021 at 12:52 AM

The Unexpected King - The miracle of the virgin birth led to the ultimate miracle of Salvation available to all: Not that when I believed but that I believed. Matthew 1:16, 21-22, "Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus Who is called the Messiah... and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah...She (Mary) will give birth to a Son, and you (Joseph) are to give Him the Name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet! (Isaiah 7:14) Merry⋆ᘓમ૨ıડτന੨ડ⋆

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