Christmas Eve A’22
24 December 2022
Luke 2.1-20
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
North Little Rock, Arkansas
The Rev. Carey Stone <+>

{Children/Youth & Simpson Family gather with Fr. Carey on chancel steps}


Welcome Kids! Welcome Garrison and Simpson Family – Merry Christmas!

Kids, I’m going to need you to put your thinking caps on because I am going to ask you some questions, in order to help us all understand what Christmas means, ok?

What happens when you feel afraid, like if a snake was to show up {pull out rubber snake} eeek!

What are you feeling right now? Our hearts are beating faster, our hands may be sweaty, our breathing may get faster or we might hold our breath! If we think we are in danger we may have an urge to fight or to run away or we might just freeze and not to move.

If we are afraid of a bully we might try to give them a toy or money so they will like us, or at least leave us alone. Do you want to get close to a snake, or a grizzly bear, or a tiger that likes to eat people? What about a bully, someone that is cruel or makes fun of you, do you want to be close to them? No, no, and no! What’s the lesson, when something, or someone makes us feel afraid we don’t want to get anywhere close to them, in fact we try to stay away from them.

What if we are afraid of God? Many, many years ago people were terribly afraid of God, and do you know why? The people blamed God for all the bad stuff that happened, like the flood that came and Noah and his friends barely escaped, when God spoke to Moses from a burning bush, scary right, one day when a bunch of God’s people were out in the desert there was a huge earthquake that split the ground open and 3,000 people were swallowed up by the earth, God must have gotten really mad, or so they thought. Once a whole army was drowned in the Red Sea because God was mad at them. Well, some people fought and argued with God, others ran away from God, others made animal sacrifices to try and keep God form getting mad. Almost everyone had blamed God for a lot of things that God didn’t even do, in fact they had gotten God all wrong – God was really all about Love – how could God fix people’s fear about him?

God decided to send his Son, Jesus, the prophet hundreds of years earlier told the people that a virgin girl would conceive and have a baby through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Of the many names of God there was one very special name the prophet used to describe Jesus, that name was – “Emmanuel” and its meaning, God is with us!

{Introduce baby Garrison} And speaking of babies I’d like for you to meet St. Luke’s newest baby – Garrison! Hi Garrison! Hello to his mom and dad – Ms. Beth and Mr. Fred!

Is anyone afraid of baby Garrison, do you want to fight, or run, or freeze in place because you are afraid? No – in fact, we want to get closer to him {we would all probably like to cuddle up with him!} With Baby Garrison there is nothing to be afraid of and everything to love – and that’s the message God is trying to get through to us and to the whole world– For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son – God’s perfect love has come to us in the form of a baby to cast out our fear and to have a relationship of Love. This relationship will change all our other relationships, for now we know that we are God’s precious children and so is everyone that we meet.

  Look the virgin will conceive

and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means, “God is with us!”

– from the first chapter of St. Matthew

As we celebrate Jesus’ birth, we have a gift {one for each family} to help us always remember this blessed night! Merry Christmas!