“While they were in Bethlehem
the time came for Mary to have the baby,
and she gave birth to her first son.
Because there were no rooms left in the inn,
she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth
and laid him in a feeding trough.

-Luke 2: 6-7 NCV

A Time to Think … “Christmas isn’t just a temporal celebration or the memory of a beautiful event; Christmas is more … Christmas is an encounter.” ―Pope Francis

A Time to Act … Revel at that kind of love we see in the lives of Joseph and Mary. Despite all the trials and roadblocks, they never wavered in their trust in God. Their first Christmas Eve wasn’t decked with boughs of holly and twinkling lights! Instead, they laid the Savior of the world in a feeding trough for animals…our society would call this not such a good Christmas. But to the waiting world that needs hope and a new joy—that first night was perfect! So, on this Christmas Eve, think back to yourself and those times where you thought you just couldn’t go on but, with God’s help, you did! This is another story of Christmas—trusting and having hope in God’s promises. Embrace that today and every day because, just like the gift of Jesus at Christmas, that trust and hope changes you and the world!

A Time to Pray… O Jesus, tonight you come to me as a baby and yet as my Savior. I know your story so well that sometimes I’ve lost the wonder of it all. Fill me again with the heavenly music of Christmas, that I may sing your praises here at the manger, and at the cross and the empty tomb. Let my life start anew tonight with the gift Christmas brings: peace, love, hope and joy. My precious Baby Jesus, I love you now and forever, AMEN.