This Little Thing When the angels left them, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place.” – Luke 2:15 (NRSV, abridged) MARY LUTI | In human terms, this thing that took place in Bethlehem isn’t much. A young couple had a baby. It happens every second on this spinning earth. Despite the angels’ sky-exploding bombast, it’s a little thing. And I wonder if the hastening shepherds might not have been a tad disappointed when they got there and found something so modest, like when you go see a show your friends have been gushing about, and you try to like it because, well, it’s amazing, right? But it’s sort of meh, and you’re embarrassed that maybe you missed something, so you just tell them, yeah, yeah, it was great. I wish sometimes that Luke hadn’t decided to tell us the Christmas story like a gushy reviewer, because when we read about heavenly pyrotechnics marking key moments of grace, we could start expecting them in our own lives with God. Then, when not much happens, we might wonder what we missed. Probably nothing. It’s just that when God works for our wellbeing, mostly it’s by little things, small moves, a rustle of a single wing, not a flapping sky-full of them. To set the world free for love, you have to start somewhere, somehow. It doesn’t need to be in shock and awe. A wee gesture will do, something modest and small, and lo and behold, that wee thing is everything, alpha and omega in a nutshell, the whole thing in a little thing. Like the Little Thing we adore this blessed morn, God’s slight initiative, a babe newborn and beautiful. PRAYER Thank you, God, for Jesus, born this happy morning—your gesture of love, your slight initiative, your little thing, our everything. Amen.

About the Writer:
MARY LUTI is a long-time seminary educator and the author of Teresa of Avila’s Way and numerous articles on the practice of the Christian life.

Source: “What’s Left of the Night?” | 2022 Advent-Christmastide Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.