Prepare to Listen. Light all 4 Advent candles and be still in awe of this great event we now begin to celebrate again.
Prayerfully Read Luke 2:1-7
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
The birth of Jesus, the Son of God, the promised and longed-for Messiah, the Savior of the world, is told briefly and undramatically! Tacked on at the end of a paragraph that names two rulers (who are insignificant to the story of Jesus), a decree to be registered for tax purposes (highlighting the suffering people endured under Roman rule), and the journey of Joseph and pregnant Mary to Bethlehem. After all that detail, just a few words describe the birth of Messiah—she gave birth—and that’s about it. Far from home and family support, Mary gave birth and “wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” And only Mary and Joseph celebrated his birth.
J. B. Philips wrote, “God’s insertion of himself into human history was achieved with an almost frightening quietness and humility. There was no advertisement, no publicity, no special privilege; in fact, the entry of God into his own world was heartbreakingly humble.”  His birth resembled births among the poor and the marginalized. Jesus was born into poverty, lived and ministered among the poor and died with them.
What do you imagine Mary’s was prayer that night? It will tell you something about yourself.
Respond to Jesus
Lord of all creation and majesty you came in meekness and simplicity, entered the world of humans without any fanfare. Today, I give you that fanfare even as I seek to live in the humbleness of your birth. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world to which Jesus came in true humility.
 In Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. Farmington, PA: Plough Publishing House, 2001, November 26.
I am convinced that reading the Christian Bible is essential for our Christian spiritual nourishment. I speak from experience, over 60 years of experience. I also believe we'll never get bored reading the Bible over and over. Each time I read it, I learn something new. Read with me during Advent and learn to wait for Christ with heart and mind alert for his coming. The readings draw on my background of study and teaching the Bible for over 30 years.