Today in the Mission Yearbook

The Christmas miracle reminds us to look for signs of hope


Jesus’ birth was welcomed and surprising

December 24, 2018

Referenced in sermons from pulpits across the world, printed in fine script within Christmas cards mailed to friends and family, and exclaimed at key moments in holiday movies, the word “miracle” is heard frequently this time of year.

Many happenings are often referred to as miracles, but rest assured the real and original miracle of Christmas is that God chose to come be with us through Jesus Christ.

A miracle is a surprising and welcome event. Though all the world was waiting for the chosen one, the birth of Jesus on that night and in that place was a welcome surprise.

We may over-romanticize the stable where Jesus was born, but we know that this birthing place speaks volumes about God’s infinite love and compassion toward all people. Jesus was born in an earthy, raw, smelly stable, not in a golden temple or royal palace. Being born in such a place is God’s way of showing that Christ comes to us in all sorts of human conditions — earthy, smelly, broken and accomplished. No matter what we’ve done or haven’t done, God comes to be with us where we are in life, and out of great love for all humanity.

This can be tough to remember when life keeps flinging challenges and hurdles in our paths. Sometimes we dodge them, but most times we must face them head on, channeling as much grace as possible along the way.

But in the middle of the chaos, don’t forget to look for signs of hope. Signs remind us that, in time, we will come out of this season with a deeper sense of who God is and how Christ was with us throughout this time.

Just like the angel who appeared to the shepherds on that fateful night and said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy,” the shepherd’s fear was transformed into joy. Their bewilderment was transformed into wonderment. I believe the same miracle will happen to us also. Fear will be transformed into joy as we behold Jesus in the earthy, smelly, broken and accomplished places of our life this season.

Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, President and Executive Director, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus:  Jesus’ birth

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Lemuel Garcia-Arroyo, PMA
Debbie Gardiner, PMA

Let us pray:

I pray that the Child of Light be born deep in your heart and begin the work of miracles, of reversal and transformation, as you ponder the true meaning of the season. May each of us be blessed during this joyous time of the year, and may we acknowledge with gratitude God’s incomparable gift to us — Jesus Christ.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Monday, December 24, 2018, Christmas Eve (Year C)