Our annual Christmas musical is this Sunday! I have noted that these last few years here at Pacific Beach UMC bring a full sense of the Christmas celebration when we celebrate this annual event together!
There is power in storytelling, there is power in music, and there is power when we have the opportunity to experience this amazing story. Consider the text below—often not read until Christmas Eve—and prepare for an exciting and beautiful telling of this life-changing story!
Luke 2:1-20 (CEB)
1In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. 2This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. 3Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. 4Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. 5He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. 6While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. 7She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.
Announcement to shepherds
8Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. 9The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.
10The angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you—wonderful, joyous news for all people. 11Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord. 12This is a sign for you: you will find a newborn baby wrapped snugly and lying in a manger.” 13Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God. They said, 14“Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.”
15When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go right now to Bethlehem and see what’s happened. Let’s confirm what the Lord has revealed to us.” 16They went quickly and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they reported what they had been told about this child. 18Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19Mary committed these things to memory and considered them carefully. 20The shepherds returned home, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Everything happened just as they had been told.
Consider these questions:
- This story is surely familiar. What parts of the story that have always stood out to you? Did you notice anything different when you read it again? Consider reading sections of the story over and over (as in a Lectio Divina reading) to open your mind to new understandings from this text.
- Do you have a favorite part of the story? How have you imagined this in your mind? What images are present for you?
- How do you hope this story will be presented this Sunday during our musical? What might bring you joy or laughter or both?