Cycle (A ) Christmas

Is 9:2-4, 6-7; Tit. 2:11-14; Lk. 2:1-16
Thousands of years ago, God gave a promise to his people that a great Light would be seen. For those who were walking in the darkness, a Light would shine on them. About 2000 years ago this promise was realized, and a great
light shone on the city of Jerusalem.

This light brought great joy for some and terror for some. The shepherds were filled with joy as they saw the multitude of heavenly hosts praising God and singing, "Glory to God in the highest Heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favoured!" As guided by the Angels, the shepherds went to Bethlehem to find Baby Jesus that the Lord God had announced to them.
Tonight, we share in the joy of the shepherds.
The Story of Christmas Spiders gives the message that Christmas is a time to share the joy.
In a quiet cottage in the woods lived a gentle widow and her eight children. The widow worked very hard to keep her children warm and well-fed, but money was not plentiful. When the air grew crisp, and the snow began to fall, the widow knew Christmas was coming. But instead of feeling joyful as the holiday approached, she felt sadness and sorrow. She knew that she did not have enough money to buy her children any gifts to open on Christmas morning.
"I cannot afford new toys or books," she thought, walking home through the woods one night. "What will I give my children?"
"Perhaps a Christmas tree would make my children happy," the widow sighed.
She chose a small but beautiful evergreen, and brought it to the cottage.
For hours, the widow carefully decorated the fragrant tree branches with colourful fruits, bits of ribbon, and Christmas cookies. Then she blew out her candle and went to bed, hoping the tree would make her children's empty Christmas a little bit brighter.
While the tired widow slept, tiny spiders crept from the cracks and corners of the cottage. They had watched her hard at work, decorating the tree for her children. Onto the branches they jumped, spinning delicate strands of silky web which gracefully covered the small tree from trunk to top. It was a beautiful sight.
When the family awoke on Christmas morning, they could not believe their eyes. The webs of silk had been turned into pure silver, covering the tree with dazzling brightness! The widow watched her children sing and dance around the beautiful shining tree, she knew it would be a wonderful Christmas after all!
From that day forward, people have hung strands of shiny silver tinsel on their Christmas trees in honour of the poor widow and her tiny Christmas spiders.
Christmas invites the whole creation to share in this joy. At the same time we also find some forces working against it. When the Angels were singing "Glory to God in the Highest" and shepherds were sharing the joy in the fields in the Palace of Herod there were dark designs to execute the new born babes and bring bloodshed and misery in the kingdom.
The same situation is seen in the world around us too. On the one side there is the message of Christmas announcing peace to the world. On the other side there are dark forces at work to destroy that peace. They work in many ways.
It is our personal decision that to which side we choose to be.
Christmas will become meaningful if we can bring a little smile on the face of someone. It can be done in many ways. Give someone a compliment.  We always think it so. Let us express it. Do not be afraid to share a compliment as we make someone's day with this small gesture. Share a smile even with strangers. We will be rewarded with a smile back.
Wish you All Merry Christmas filled with the joy and blessings of child Jesus.