This has been a really difficult Advent and Christmas season for me. It is the time of light and hope and joy and peace, but I'm not quite there yet.
And then the shepherds left. And it was quiet again. Just Mary and Joseph and the Christ Child.... and the sheep and goats and cattle.
We don't hear about angels visiting the holy family that first night. We don't hear about any other guests. The wisemen probably didn't appear until a year or two later. It was on this night that the star appeared and they first started their quest.
No, it was quiet, and dark, and probably cold and still. Worship was a story of glorious revelation and quiet adoration of an infant. Maybe some bread was shared. And when morning came - when the hustle and bustle of the world began again and that village woke up... I bet no one had any idea what had taken place.
Mary and Joseph started over in Bethlehem... found a place to stay... and after some time had passed and the child started crawling and then teetering around some crazy dudes from the east showed up.... but that's a story for another day.
My prayers are with all of you who are busy and chaotic this morning. My prayers are with all of you who are alone for the first time in many years. My prayers are with you who are always alone on this morning. May we each find peace and joy and hope and love and light in some quiet corner of this morning. And may we remember that first Christmas.