Text: Luke 2:1-20 (Isaiah 9:2-7; Titus 2:11-14)

The time has come for Abiding Presence Lutheran Church! You have journeyed through this time of discovery. Like the season of Advent, you have been preparing yourselves to receive a new vision and leader according to the Spirit. The call has been issued and the time has come. Now its time to welcome this gift. To receive this new pastor is to receive the gift of Christ. Remember, however, that Jesus came into the world as a helpless baby. Yes, he contained the fullness of God’s promise, yet that promse needed to be received and nurtured. Jesus was born into a world not only hungry for his appearance but also scared of it in so many ways. Born a baby in a stable on the outskirts of town, the story of Christmas is one not only of welcome but protection. The shepherds received the message as gift. The wise men journeyed far and long to behold the gift. Herod, however, received it with fear and threat. The time has come! How will you receive the gift? How will you help protect that gift in a time and world that is also scared and threatened?