Christmas 7: Angels & Shepherds

Shephereds and Angel by Albin Polasek

The Story of Christmas
Day 7 Reading:
Luke 2:8-14

According to the elite of the first century, shepherding was the worst job you could have. Shepherds were disparaged as lazy, dishonest people who lived on land belonging to others. Finding rest in a stable was better than sleeping out among the sheep…. Once again, God enters human history through the poor and the homeless, those without social standing or power. God chooses to favor the disfavored and lifts up the humble, the lowly. Among such as these, God is with us, Emmanuel.
– From “Christ Born among Us,” a week of devotions by Jan Love, published in the Upper Room Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions (2010).

Emmanuel, “God with us,” came among us in a manger where all could come and kneel to worship him. There were no barriers of dress code, entrance fees, or guards at the door. From his first breath, God was available to all.– from Meeting the Messiah: Scriptures for the Advent Season, introduced and compiled by Kara Lassen Oliver

Something stupendous, earth-shattering, happened in Bethlehem that first Christmas night: God’s promised Messiah, God’s own Son, was born in Bethlehem, and who were the first to be told the good news? It was not the high priest, not the king or his courtiers; it was shepherds watching their flock by night. Our people in South Africa love that story because it says shepherds are actually more important than the world thinks. Certainly, shepherds are important for God. Or even more wonderfully, the story says that God has a special caring for those whom the world thinks are not important. That God sides with those whom the world despises. That God sides with those whom the world brutalizes. That God is with those whom the world oppresses.
– Desmond Tutu, God Is Not a Christian: And Other Provocations

Prayer for Peace
ONE:
The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 NRSV)

ALL:
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!

ONE:
Come forth Great Savior, break the grip of injustice,
dam the rapids of violence, end the plans of hate.

ALL:
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!

ONE:
Long awaited Messiah, silence the roar of distraction,
muzzle the jaws of deception, deaden the allure of evil.

ALL:
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!

ONE:
Lord Jesus, in your great mercy, you extend favor to every person.
We return your love and favor you above all others, now and forever.

ALL:
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!
Hallelujah! Amen!

*********
For information on The Story of Christmas Reading Plan, click here

Prayer for Peace: compilation and prayer © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,
please refer to the copyright information page.

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