Where Shepherds Lately Knelt
by Jaroslav J. Vajda
Where shepherds lately knelt and kept the angel’s word,
I stand in half-belief, a pilgrim strangely stirred;
But there is room and welcome there for me,
But there is room and welcome there for me.
In that unlikely place I find him as they said:
Sweet newborn Babe, how frail! and in a manger bed,
A still, small voice to cry one day for me,
A still, small voice to cry one day for me.
How should I not have known Isaiah would be there,
His prophecies fulfilled? With pounding heart I stare:
A child, a son, the Prince of Peace for me,
A child, a son, the Prince of Peace for me.
Can I, will I forget how Love was born and burned
Its way into my heart unasked, unforced, unearned,
To die, to live, and not alone for me,
To die, to live, and not alone for me?
Today my family and I get to go to the family Christmas get-together for my wife’s side of the family. As a Pastor, I obviously am not free to get away on Christmas Day, and 1,000 miles is a bit of a commute. So I’m glad it worked out for my wife’s family to hold their Christmas celebration at a time when we’re in town.
So it’s time for some good food, a gift exchange, and for my daugters to wear themselves out playing with their cousins! How fun is that?
Christmas blessings to all reading this! Christ is born! God has come to save his people!
Ok, I realize there are only so many cutesy Christmas videos that one can stomach each season. I’ve already shared one, but I have one more for you to watch.
Again, it has it’s cutesy elements, but don’t roll your eyes too much at this video as it presents the Christmas story as if it happened on facebook. Instead, see what this video does well: it shows how the people in the biblical account were real people, and it explores the emotions they were / might have been feeling when these amazing events took place. Plus, the music is a bit better in this video than the last one.
One more time: merry Christmas! To us a child is born!
As we get ready to celebrate Christmas, most of us will be hearing those same stories again. Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem. There’s no room for them. Jesus is born and laid in a manger. I even memorized and recited most of the actual Scripture from Luke 2 when I was a kid.
This presents a temptation for us. The Christmas story seems like a kid’s story. It sounds like a fairy tale. So we’re tempted to want to “get beyond” such simple, boring stories and move on to something else.
But no! These stories are so precious, because Christ our Savior is given to us in them! This Martin Luther quote really sums this up well. Read it and take it to heart!
I beg and admonish faithfully all devout Christians that they not be offended or stumble over the simple stories related in the Bible, nor doubt them. However poor they may appear, they are certainly the words, history, and judgments of the high divine Majesty, Power, and Wisdom. For this is the book which makes all wise and clever people fools, and can only be understood by simple people, as Christ says . Therefore let go your own thoughts and feelings and esteem this book as the best and purest treasure, as a mine full of great wealth, which can never be exhausted or sufficiently excavated. thus you will find the divine wisdom which God presents in the Bible in a manner so simple that it damps the pride of clever people and brings it to nothing. In this book you find the swaddling clothes and the manger in which Christ lies, and to which the angel directs the shepherds. Those swaddling clothes are shabby and poor, yet precious is the treasure wrapped in them, for it is Christ.
Martin Luther, LW 35:236
This video has been posted and reposted to countless places already, but in case you’re one of the few who hasn’t seen it, here you go!
It’s a fun video not meant to be taken too seriously, so keep that in mind.
Two things I can’t resist mentioning though: why did they pick jingle bells as the background music? Is that really the best they could come up with? Also, the “moral” at the end of the video is really lame, I can’t even stomach retyping it here. Let’s just say it’s not really what Christmas is about!