During Advent and Christmas, we are featuring devotionals written by clergy of the Greater NJ Annual Conference of the UMC. For this week, we are focused on reflections on Luke 2:1-7, the story of Jesus’ birth.
1In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. 2 This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. 3 Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. 4 Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. 5 He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.
My maternal biological grandmother’s favorite hymn is “Go Tell it On the Mountain” here are the lyrics in case you don’t know them:
Chorus: Go, tell it on the mountain Over the hills and everywhere Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!
While shepherds kept their watching O’er silent flocks by night Behold throughout the heavens There shone a holy light
The shepherds feared and trembled When lo! Above the EarthRang out the angel chorus That hailed our Savior’s birth
Down in a lowly manger Our humble Christ was born And God sent us salvation That blessed Christmas morn
Tonight, we will usher in a new year, a new time, a new space. We usher in this new year with both darkness and light- darkness for the grief of the things that no longer are, and joy for the things that continue and will be. We again face another year of darkness and light- there will be grief and sorrow, disappointment and frustration, but there will also be joy and celebration, hope and resurrection. We get to see, know and feel all of this because of the birth of a baby to a poor family in the midst of the most inconvenient time. We get to see, know and experience all of this because of the God who made Godself become flesh. Because of the God who so loved that world that God poured herself into the world in the form of a human child, not to condemn the world but to save it.
That my friends, is something worth singing about- it’s something worth going and telling about, its something worth telling everyone- that our salvation has come, and that we can fully and truly know love.
By the Rev. Gabrielle Corbett
For Pondering & Prayer
So- go tell it on a mountain. Jesus Christ is born, and may that be what you shout at the darkness and the light that comes to you this next year. No matter what darkness, no matter what light, no matter what happens, Jesus Christ is born and we have found salvation.
Prayer: Holy God, fill us with the joy and energy to Go tell your story on every mountain. Amen.