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Thursday, December 24, 2020

…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them….“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:7 & 14
children dressed as shepherds and angels

Part of my morning routine is donning my athletic shoes and headphones and walking our neighborhood while listening to podcasts.  Recently I have stumbled onto Greg McKeon’s podcast on Essentialism.  As I understand it, this is an intentional life strategy aimed at focusing our time and energy on only what is essential.  It helps us let go of the other millions of distractions to concentrate on what really matters.

In Luke’s telling of the birth of Christ, he uses these principles of essentialism. There are many details Luke could have added to his story, but he tells of Jesus’ birth in one line.  What Luke understands as the core of the story is that God humbly chose to come into the world as a human baby, tenderly cared for by his displaced mother and identified from the beginning with the marginalized.  In this one verse is the essence of Christian Discipleship.  The love of and for the incarnate God and the centrality of connecting with the vulnerable.  Luke repeats this vital message again in Chapter 10, when he records Jesus’ distillation of the commandments into the essentials: Love God, Love your neighbor.

As we welcome the Christ child this year, may we strive for Peace by making this simple story essential in our homes, in our church, and in our daily lives.

Amy Lenow