Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

by Reverend Dan on December 22, 2021
It’s almost time. The children are a wild, hot mess, trying to find the balance somewhere between so excited they can’t sit still, and “you’d better be good, Santa is watching.” Parking spots at the mall are at a premium and employees have had about all the Christmas cheer from shoppers they can stand. Packages are at every doorstep, you can hear the screams from next door when your neighbor gets a notice that the most important gift of all is on backorder, and chances are you’ll see Amazon, UPS, and Fed Ex trucks on every block no matter the time of day or night. On Christmas tree lots the prices are dropping as sales plummet, and at airports people are anxious about delayed or cancelled flights (it’s ironic – everyone wants a “white Christmas”, but no one wants it to snow at the airport!) The smell of pine trees, hot apple cider with cinnamon, egg Nog, and baked ham are in the air as everyone scurries around the overcrowded but joyous house, and Grandma sits back in the corner with a faraway look in her eyes as she remembers a simpler, happier time when Grandpa was here. Worshippers at church are lifting candles as they sing of silent nights and for a brief moment, we all believe in Santa Claus and stand in awe of the miracle in the manger. It’s Christmas. I pray yours is all you wish, and all that God wishes for you. Merry Christmas.

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. This tax was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.