The Gospel of Luke weaves a wonderful pageant. Every year at Christmas, we read of the journey, the census, Mary’s pregnancy, the birth, the shepherds, and of course the heavenly angels. Even in our liturgical celebrations, the story is presented and lived out so that itsmeaning can be known.
One element of the story that is often bypassed is the notion of community. Amidst all the divergent elements presented via the family of players, the community they form is not often seen or acknowledged. Though the story is presented as if different events are occurring at different times and places, there is a sense of cohesiveness to it all. Throughout the narrative there is a community being formed and reformed around the Christ child. Whether His immediate family or an extended one, comprised of shepherds, angels and those just outside the inner circle, there is a community that takes it upon themselves to worship the newborn king and to provide for the child a nurturing embrace.
As we, in turn, uplift the birth of Jesus, the gathering of the community continues. Each of us is both spectator and participant. We are caught up in the lives of each other and in the story of God through his Son. We, like the heavenly hosts, need to sing praises to God saying,“Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth.”
God wants us. We are needed, for we are the modern day participants that surround the manger. We are part of the “togetherness equation” - the Christ community, who worships,bearing witness to the Christ!