The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
According to 2021 estimates, there are 259 babies born worldwide per minute, or 4.3 births every second. Some are born in hospitals with modern equipment and comforts, others are born in hospitals with fewer resources. Some are born in the safety of their homes, and some are born in refugee camps. Some are born in cities, some are born in villages, and some are born in fields while their families flee from violence and extreme poverty.
Jesus’ humble birth reminds us of God’s great love for all of humankind, in particular those who have been neglected or excluded. Every child is a beloved child of God, including those who are poor, weak, and vulnerable. God’s son could have been born to a family of great wealth, yet he chose to be born in a manger after Joseph and Mary made their long and difficult journey to Bethlehem.
This Christmas, and every Christmas, we celebrate the wondrous birth, when Jesus physically entered our world and brought humanity a gift of love and salvation, bringing great “joy for all the people.” This gift is for us, and for all people, regardless of how or where we were born. Even today, this joy still fills our hearts and inspires us to sing with the angels, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
Peace to you during the seasons of Advent, and Christmas, and always.
The Rev. John G. Rights