“Come and see, go and tell!”
December 24, 2018
Children usually enjoy opening an advent calendar each day, especially if there is chocolate or a gift inside! For many it is a fun way to count down the days to Christmas Day, when we welcome and celebrate the greatest gift of all. The gift of Jesus the son of God, Immanuel God with us. John begins his Gospel, “in the beginning” referring to the opening words written in scripture in the book of Genesis (Bereshith in Hebrew, which means in the beginning) to point to the One who is before time, and all that is created, the Word which was with God and is God. He starts at the beginning. Centuries had passed where there were those who prophesied, prepared and waited for the coming of Immanuel. At long last, a time came when the count down and waiting was over. On a hillside here in Palestine an angel appeared to shepherds watching their flocks, the glory of the Lord shone around them. “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that is for all people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people” announced the angel. The shepherds on hearing the news went to find and see the baby. Having encountered the baby, they went and told what they had experienced, and spread the word concerning him. All who heard were amazed.
Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the year come from all over the world, to visit Bayt Sahur (which means house of the watchers) and the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. They visit the place where the Prince of Peace was born. Palestinian Christians, ever since have believed in the One born amongst them. They have told, down through the centuries, the good news of the only begotten son of God born of a virgin. They share their experience that the Light of the world still shines in the midst of the darkness of persecution, conflict and injustice. They testify to the world that they have beheld His glory and continue to put their faith and trust in the One and Only, full of grace and truth. They tell the world by their presence here in Bethlehem and surrounding areas, Immanuel God is with us. He has not forsaken them or deserted them, they turn their backs to occupation and turn their faces to behold His glory. They invite the world to come and see and go and tell just like the shepherds did, not only come and see the physical stones that are there as a marker to His coming, but also the living “stones” who continue to believe, and testify, that this is the place where the only begotten of the Father came. Like them He was born during a time of occupation, in the midst of injustice, like the shepherds, the glory of the Lord surrounds them and they have a message to spread. May they, we and all peoples, join with the heavenly host to declare “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favour rests”
May our hearts be opened on this Christmas Eve to welcome the Word who became flesh and has dwelt amongst us. May we be overwhelmed and prepared to receive the love of God in Christ. Be awed by His presence and seek to be channels of His love, peace and joy. May we come and see Mary’s child and go and tell!
I’d like to share the words of one verse of a hymn written by David Haas 1957.
We are Called to Serve
Come! live in the light!
Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord
We are called to be light for the kingdom
To live in the freedom of the city of God
We are called to act with justice
We are called to love tenderly
We are called to serve one another
To walk humbly with God
Let us pray,
Lord, just like Mary, may the Holy Spirit overshadow us. May the Holy One be conceived in our hearts. May we like Joseph be obedient, to trust and follow you. Like the shepherds may we tell the good news of the birth of Christ. May we bow down and offer our gifts to Christ, as the wise ones who journeyed from afar following the light of the star did. And may we rise up, to continue our life’s journey wherever you lead us. Amen
Devotion written by Angleena Keizer, serving through the British Methodist Church.
Picture taken by Angleena Keizer.
Please find below links to printable worship resources, we hope you find these useful.
Advent Resources 2018
Lenten Resources 2018
Advent Resources 2017
Lenten Resources 2017