RCL Christmas 1
Isaiah 9:2-7, Psalm 96, Titus 2:11-14, Saint Luke 2:1-20

We’ve left home and hearth, food and fizz, to come out on a winter’s night to hear the old, old story. We’ve left those things so that the old, old story can become our story if it hasn’t become that for us already.

The old story of the Emperor Augustus and his tax; of a young couple braving travel and the dangers of the world to comply with the law, daring to suffer the pain of the birth of a child; of the shepherds minding their own business whilst a miraculous messenger declares to them the birth of a divine child and suggests they visit that child, born for them and all the people; of how they make that visit and find their hearts changed; and of how they return to their flock “glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.”[1] We’ve come out tonight for that same experience, of visiting a baby that changes our lives for the better.

To make the old, old story our own, we need to connect the dots, the dots between an infant and the Savior most of us know we need. The story tells us how the shepherds do it. They are told of the marvelous birth, and their curiosity takes over. That’s a good start for us, too, if our curiosity should take over and take us places we haven’t thought worthwhile.

For that baby, our Savior, found an obscure place among unheralded people to be born. If the old story becomes ours, our paths and steps will change. We’ll do what the Savior did. We’ll find the poor and serve them. We’ll find the hungry and feed them. We’ll find the hopeless and share our hope that our Savior was born two thousand years ago in Bethlehem and that our Savior is born again in our hearts every time we remember his Name.

We will associate that baby with our salvation if we do what the shepherds did: let our curiosity take over. We’ll find the glory of the Lord every time we remember his birth, every time we put ourselves in the safety of his hands, and every time we make room for him in our hearts.

For the old, old story is real. Not only is it real, because it brings us out on a winter’s night. The old story is real, because it has changed lives, hundreds of thousands of lives for the two thousand years since it happened. And you know that it can change your life, too. May the Lord Jesus be born in your heart tonight and forever more.

[1] Saint Luke 2:20.