Gracious God, how wonderful it is when we hear good news and how easy the journey is when we are carrying good news and travelling with hope. Today we rejoice with the shepherds who were first on the scene to welcome the birth of the saviour. Today we also rejoice with all those for whom Christmas brings unbounded joy –
For children playing with new toys
For adults whose relationships are strong
For communities where good things are happening
For all of these - the journey is a joy and we bless you for the times our own lives when we have travelled light and journeyed with joy.
But, we would never pray without remembering those who long for such times –
For children robbed of their childhood
For adults trapped in spirals of chaos
For communities riven with tensions
For all these we pray that one day they may walk in the light, cradle the good news in their hearts and journey with a lighter step.
For Jesus sake, Amen
by John Chalmers
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.