Anticipation, Proclamation, Celebration: A Christmas Devotion

by Rev. Ron Glusenkamp, Senior Pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church
Cherry Hills Village, CO

“Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace to God’s people on earth.”

A good friend of mine often says that the intent of most educational or informational messages can be “boiled down” to just three questions:

“So what?”
“Now what.”

Those three questions reveal what it is that we have spent the season of Advent waiting, watching, hoping and praying for, “unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” The hopes and fears of all the years are met in this little baby born to Mary and Joseph.

The “WHAT?” is the “Word made flesh” who now dwells among us. This “Word made flesh” is readily experienced through the ministry of Camp Arcadia. Through the various weeks focused on youth, families, seniors the campers and staff we pray, pray, eat and work together in community. A community that is “knit together in the mystical body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

The “SO WHAT?” question impelled, compelled and propelled the shepherds to say, ‘let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass which the Lord has made known to us.” Bethlehem literally means, “the House of Bread.”  Bread is the substance the feeds one stomach and one’s soul. I always love the “bread” at Camp Arcadia. The bread which is graciously mixed up, kneaded, baked, sliced and served daily to our tables. The “bread” which is the end result of being “stirred up” together so that we might grow and go in our faith.

Last but not least, the “NOW WHAT?” of this heavenly birth announcement reminds us as Jesus said, “let your light so shine before others that they might see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” As followers of the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ we are called to share our gifts with those who are hungry, spiritually and physically. As disciples of the Light of the World, Jesus Christ we are called to shine so that others might receive warmth and illumination.

Merry Christmas to you and yours as we rejoice in the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  As you gather together with family and friends, remember the ministry of Camp Arcadia.

I’ve attached a proclamation that we will read in our congregation this Christmas Eve. It is a way to “mark time” to set this wondrous event in context. It is an earth shaking and an earth-quaking event.

“For God so love the world that he sent his only Son so that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

May that light and life bless you this day and all days.

“Many ages after God created the heavens and the earth, 

when man and woman were formed in God’s own image;

long after the great flood, when God set the rainbow in the clouds as a sign of the covenant;

twenty-one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah; 

thirteen centuries after Moses led God’s people to freedom;

eleven centuries from the time of Ruth and the judges;

a thousand years from the anointing of David as king;

in the sixty-fifth week as Daniel’s prophecy takes note;

in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;

the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the founding of the city of Rome;

the forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;

in the sixth age of the world, all earth being at peace, Jesus Christ, eternal God, Son of the eternal Father,

willing to hallow the world by his coming in mercy, was born of the virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judea.

Today is the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, God made flesh.”


From Sundays and Copyright 2013 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #26681


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