On the night when Christ was born, a group of shepherds watched over their flocks in the fields near Bethlehem. Scripture tells us that, suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared. In the midst of his radiant glory, the shepherds were terrified. With words of reassurance, the angel brought good news of great joy: the Savior – the Messiah, the Lord – had been born in Bethlehem!
This unlikely audience for such a heavenly announcement then saw the skies filled with angels, each one praising God, saying:
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
This Advent season, we turn our eyes toward Bethlehem and sing familiar hymns of Christmas praise – even as we face continued uncertainty, frustration, and need in the ongoing pandemic. In some places, believers have returned for in-person worship. Other places remain locked down. In still other regions, where the Church faces persecution, Christians gather under great risk. Despite our differing circumstances, the worldwide Body of Christ joins in heart and spirit to celebrate the Incarnation of Emmanuel, our God who is with us.
This year, we have again invited several leaders from around the world to offer a meditation on Scripture and to share about their own local celebratory customs. We hope that these Christmas devotionals and stories will encourage you as we celebrate the Lord’s first coming and anticipate his next.
Photo: “The Holy Family” by Rawan Anani (2020)
Credit: The Art of Occupied Palestine
Kenya is deeply engaged in political wrangles right now, as politicians get ready for the presidential elections next year (August 2022). Kenyan citizens are suffering from the effects of the coronavirus that has plagued the world. Many more people have fallen into unemployment, and income is a big struggle for many families. Please pray for Kenya to overcome these political and economic challenges.read more