Gathered Wisdom, Dec. 20

A weekly curated collection of essays, poetry, and reflections for your spiritual journey.  From The Wisdom Years.

Light one candle for the strength that we need
To never become our own foe.

And light one candle for those who are suffering
Pain we learned so long ago.

Light one candle for all we believe in
That anger not tear us apart.

And light one candle to find us together
With peace as the song in our hearts.

-Peter, Paul, and Mary, lyrics from “Light One Candle”

Found on the album “A Holiday Celebration with the New York Choral Society.”

Gathered Wisdom wishes God’s great blessings on you this Christmas. With this edition we invite you into the story of Christ’s birth as told in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, verses 1-20.

Read the narrative once, straight through. Then read it a second time, putting yourself into the narrative. Who are you? A shepherd? An angel? Mary? Joseph? One of the animals?

What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What amazes you? Frightens you? Brings joy to your heart?

For what do you praise God this Christmas? May your Christmas celebration be blessed, and may you take the time to bless others.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of

David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Gathered Wisdom is taking a Christmas break. We will be back on January 3.

Gathered Wisdom is an offering of The Wisdom Years, a ministry devoted to the spiritual journey of the last third of our lives.

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