I want to talk about the promises of God this morning. They are not for the selfish and not for the self-righteous. They are generally kept in reserve for those who least expect them and who think themselves the least deserving. If there's such a thing as a promise in the Bible, then today's the day we celebrate it, though the keeping of it at first seemed tenuous at best: The birth of a Baby to migrant parents—his first room was a stable, his first bed a feeding trough, his first roommates cattle and donkeys, his first visitors a group of despised and dirty shepherds. But when Mary was pregnant with her Child, she said that God's
mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.
Help me, Lord, to celebrate Christmas aright, not by doubling down on my own comfort and good feelings, but by finding new ways to reach out to those who lives their life as Christ did: the poor, the homeless, the humble, the disrespected; for the way I treat the least of these my brothers and sisters is the way I treat the One whose birth I remember this day. Amen.