“For unto you this day is born a child in Bethlehem; who is Christ the Lord.”

Unto YOU this day.

Oh sure, the Christ child is also born for your neighbor. The Christ child is born for the stranger, the immigrant and the refugees and all of those whom we or others in the world have at some point or still today deem “lesser.”

But in order to get down that deep into the message God is giving us, and really understand this message of love that transcends boundaries and divisions, we first need to recognize that Christ is born for us. For me and for YOU.

Born to meet me in all of my doubts and fears and loneliness. And my hopes and dreams and joys. Born to meet me as I try to raise two teenagers and build life with my fiancé and pastor a church. Born unto you in all your life circumstances - hopes and joys and sorrows and disappointments.

Somehow in seeing how Christ is born for the highs and lows of our lives we can then see how Christ is born for the highs and lows of every life. How, if God‘s Grace is extended to me, could it possibly be denied to another? And if God does not put walls around grace incarnate in the Christ child, Then should I not let the Christ child who is born for me also take away from me all that holds me back from true love and human kindness with those around me, all my God-given neighbors?

In just a few minutes we will light a small sea of candles in the places where we gather tonight - tuned in from our home or the house of a friend or family, or here in this sanctuary. Sure, they may be battery powered tea lights because we’re living through a pandemic surge. But that can’t take away the depth of meaning in which we participate as we light them. Nothing can take away the prayer we send forth as we sing together. For this is the light of Christ, and prayers of faith prayed for the love and good of all people.

Oh, may this sea of light and the words of grace we sing bring a tide of peace on earth and good will to all, that lasts - not a night - but for all eternity by the power of the One who makes peace and love and all good things possible. Christ our new-born Savior. Amen.