It is Christmas Eve, and our reading today comes from none other than Martin Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation. Aside from the celebrity status of the author, this selection contains little that is novel or groundbreaking. Instead, Luther points us toward the plain truth of the Christmas story, that the Son of God stepped out of heaven into our world to bring life and light to each of us. Read slowly and prayerfully today, and allow the plain speech of this Christ-loving author to teach your heart and help you grow in your devotion to Jesus.
- Luke 2:10
- Watch for the Light, 218-224
- Luther begins this reading by stressing that the news of Christ’s birth is good news to YOU. Have you thought deeply on the idea that Christ was born not only as a general sign to all the world, but He was born to YOU? Angels gave the message to individuals (e.g. Mary, the shepherds); they did not shout from the sky for anyone who might care to hear. How does knowing that Christ’s birth is a gift of God to you personally affect your thoughts and feelings about Christmas?
- Luther writes again on page 219: “To YOU is born and given this child. Therefore, see to it that you do not treat the Gospel only as history, for that is only transient; neither regard it only as an example, for it is of no value without faith. Rather, see to it you make this birth your own and Christ be born in you.” Have you been guilty of treating the news of Christ’s birth as mere historical fact or only as a quaint example of God’s generic care for all? How does believing deeply in Christ cause your life to look differently than a person who believes only in historical facts about Jesus?
- This reading returns to a theme that has surfaced a few times in our Advent devotions – namely, that we serve Christ by loving, serving, and evangelizing those who are lost and overlooked around us. After considering Scripture’s charge to love the least several times, what good works has God shown you that you need to begin doing? Which neighbors has he continually brought to your mind that He wants you to reach? Is it an individual nearby, on your street or at your work? Or is He pointing you toward a people far from here who are waiting to hear of Christ for the first time?
Continue in your three-day prayer of praise and adoration. Pick a favorite Christmas hymn and use its lyrics to pray your faith in the miracle of God’s Son being born into our world.