Word for the day by Christian Education Forum


Luke 2:10-12

Christmas Greetings to you all in the glorious name of Christ Jesus – Immanuel.  The read Bible portion for today’s meditation focuses on the Shepherds to whom the angel came and conveyed the news of Jesus’ birth. The Shepherds were one of the first people to hear the greatest news in history. Today as we commemorate the Birth of our Lord let me share two thoughts on the bases of the good news that the shepherds heard from the Angels and relate them to our life situation today to make Christmas meaningful. 

1. Let the news of Hope replace your Anxious thoughts: The Shepherds were the least in the social strata. They lived in the margins. Though they are called shepherds, they were just the caretakers of the sheep. They worked all day long in the fields and at night took the sheep for grazing. At night they had no shelter to rest and be safe. They were always vulnerable to cold weather as well as wild animals. Their future was always diminishing. Thus, they were always anxious regarding their life. In such a life situation the angel of the Lord appears and says “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (v.11) The phrase “do not be afraid” is the most used phrase of assurance and comfort in the Bible.  And this one was also heard by Zachariah, Joseph, and Mary in relation to the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. “Do not be afraid” is always followed by a message of joy and hope. “A Savior has been born to you…”. This announcement indicates that the good news was to be celebrated beyond the family of Joseph and Mary. So the joy of Christmas goes beyond the boundary of space and time. The great news filled the Shepherds with Hope and Joy. As we navigate through these tough times of the pandemic let the news of hope and joy fill our hearts and minds to bring smiles to our faces. 

2. Affirming Signs of Jesus’ presence: We have signs and symbols all around us. Signs on roads, in public places, in our vehicles, and on our computers and phones. We also use them for social interactions. Signs and symbols help to communicate even without language. The angel also gave the signs of Baby Jesus - “you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” The Wise men couldn’t follow the signs correctly and entered Herod's palace. But the angels wanted the shepherds to reach the right place. The shepherds found baby Jesus as the angels had told. Today Christmas calls us to realize and affirm the signs of Jesus’ presence in our life. I can see them in the carols of praise by the choir, in the love that is shared through gifts and wishes, in the warmth of relationship that is missed with social distancing, in the cure that a cancer survivor has testified, in comfort and hope that a bereaving family is experiencing. 


Dear God, we thank you for sending your only begotten son into this world so that our life of fear and anxiety can be transformed into hope and joy. We also praise you for the various signs of your presence that we see and experience in our life. Help us to be assured of your everlasting presence in our lives and live testifying them to our family. In Jesus’ name, we pray, AMEN. 


Rev. Shiju Thomas (Vicar, Baltimore MTC)

 Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church

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