A story that made it into my Christmas eve homily occurred just a day before. I was at Bob Evans with two other pastor friends wondering how we can say something in our sermons about a story that many people know well. Then I saw a waitress that I have gotten to know throughout the past year. She was not waiting on our table, but came over to say hi. I asked her, "is this your first Christmas as a Christian?" With her face lit up like a Christmas tree her reply was "yes!" She went on to share how many people have told her that they just want to survive the holiday and with her heart breaking she would say to them, "don't you get how wonderful this all is!?!?!?" That was the message to Christians who are so familiar with the story, allow ourselves to hear this for the first time. She invited us pastors (shepherds) to hear this "good news of great joy for all the people". "The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all!" May we be filled with the joy of the shepherds in Luke's Christmas story, for after they see and hear this Good News they go out and share it! Not much has changed in the 21st century. Three shepherds (pastors) pondered how they would (spiritually) take care of their flocks on Christmas. God still sends us messengers (angels) to bring us "good news of great joy for all the people." This waitress doesn't hesitate to share what she sees God doing in her life, why should any of us?
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