In the sharing the Christmas story, we’re invited to begin with what we’d avoid. We begin in darkness so we can see how bright the light is.
preparing the whole story
Christmas I | Luke 2:1-14(15-20)
Tonight we gather at the setting sun like our Celtic ancestors did long, long ago. They would gather at dusk on the third day after the winter solstice. A length of time most Christians can relate to. We do count that number of days for Jesus rebirth.
But the Celts had a second, older reason to count those days. After the longest night of the year, after praying and willing God to bring the light back in the midst of increasing darkness, it was evening on the third day that they could begin to see that the light was winning.
And it was in that spirit that they would gather to celebrate the return of the light.
They would gather four times: dusk, night, dawn, and in the light of day. And each time, they would tell a part of the story.
And the part they would tell first is not one we’re used to hearing on Christmas Eve. It’s the most unlikely of Christmas gospels. Let me read it to you. It’s from Matthew:
The full text and audio may be downloaded above or here.