How come it took almost 80 years to understand that without Pentecost, etc, there is no Christmas? Think about it. How many rural children from small towns have been born in the history of humankind, in caves and in tents and in the humble house of the midwife and never had more of a reputation than that of the star who grew to be the king's valet?
Isn't it true that we come to know the story of the valet only after he has developed a reputation of rendering topnotch service while living an exemplary, virtuous life for the benefit of one and all?
It is therefore because God, the Father of Jesus, made sure that there was someone to walk beside Jesus, to listen to Him, to see His life unfold, to laugh and to suffer with Him and finally to announce His Story to the world in Word and in Deed that we can truly know the story of His birth, Christmas.
Today we stand before His crib so that tomorrow we can protect Him from the sword of Herod. Today we stand before Him in full view of those who are too "busy" to pay Him heed. Today we stand with Him and the Angels, the Shepherds and the Magi, the Apostles and the Believers who know what the span of His earthly presence has wrought and who participate in it in fulsome willingness.
To you all, from Paul, Belle, Jo-El, Marc, blessings of peace and joy for continued life, constant in the presence of the Loving and Merciful Savior.