Advent Retreat – 29

Christmas Day

– You can ponder on the picture.
– You can pray on the words of Scripture. For methods of praying with scripture click button below.
– You can follow the suggestions in the daily ‘Reflection’.
– You can listen to the music

Today’s Scripture

Luke 2:6-20 (NRSVACE)

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 
Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were terrified. 
But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:  to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 
This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ 
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ 
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 
When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 
and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 
But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


There is something of a contrast between today’s picture and the Gospel reading. 
The picture shows a well-dressed Mary and Joseph with a naked baby giving light to all, whilst the Gospel talks of the poorest of the poor, shepherds visiting a carpenter, his wife, and a baby in swaddling clothes in a stable.
How would you imagine the picture of the stable in Bethlehem if you were an artist?

Why was it that God’s messengers, the angels, came to shepherds and not to high priests?

What is this saying about God?

If you have time today why not imagine the scene painted by Luke.
If you are an artist you might even paint your own nativity.
Notice how the shepherds change from being terrified to glorifying God.
What is God saying to you in your imagination? 

What might this story have to say to people today?

Today’s Music

Click to purchase Carols from Kings College Cambridge

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