Oh, how we have longed for Christmas this year.

Personally, I don’t think I have been as excited for Christmas to come since I was a child.

It isn’t just the celebration we need. We need the vision that we are blessed in our humanness, for we spend so much time cursing one another. We don’t just need the peace. We need to hear of peace on earth, goodwill to all because we spend so much in confusion, fury, and fear.

Angels appear in the stories about the birth of Jesus with a consistent message. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid to take your part in the birth of God into the world.

That message comes to us eternally and ever new. Even when times are anxious, we are to be fearless. We have our part to play in God being born into this world.

GK Chesterton wrote that when he was a child he was delighted on Christmas morning to find a gift so big only half of it went into a stocking. As a grown man, he said he was delighted every morning to find a present so big takes two stocking to hold it and then leaves a great deal outside. It is, he said, “the large and preposterous present of myself.”

Christ was born at Christmas. And so are we.

By the gift of the incarnation, we walk on earth as a present of good news.

Live with the joy of a well-loved child. Be at peace even in disagreement. Offer shelter to those who wander. Care for those who lives are intertwined with yours – which is all of us. Entertain strangers. Create neighbors. Illumine the world with the glory of God and goodwill to all.

This is the Christmas for which the world is waiting.

Do not be afraid. Join with angels and be a message of good news.