The reflection below is written by Michelle Sherman and excerpted from our Advent-Christmas 2020 reflection booklet. Michelle works at Villanova University as the campus minister for retreats outside of Philadelphia. She served on the Pax Christi USA National Council from 2017-2020 & currently works with the PCUSA Young Adult Caucus. She authored “A Prayer for Peace and Solidarity in A Time of Pandemic” and co-authored the Advent 2018 booklet.

reflection for CHRISTMAS EVE, DECEMBER 24, 2020

by Michelle Sherman

Morning: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 | Luke 1:67-79

In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,

and guide our feet into the way of peace. (Lk 1:78-79)

When reading & reflecting on the Scriptures, it can be comforting to see oneself as the central protagonist who “shines on those who dwell in darkness,” rather than the one dwelling in that darkness. Seeing oneself only as the protagonist results in imagining oneself as the good Samaritan, Moses, or Jesus – rather than the Levite who passes the wounded man on the road, one of the Israelites who grew weary & complained in the desert, or a Pharisee who opposed reform. As we prepare to celebrate the nativity, what are the spaces in our lives where we still can learn & grow? I invite us to step into an uncomfortable space & consider ways in which each of us is still “in darkness.” With “tender compassion” I invite you to take another look at PCUSA’s four priority areas & learn more about the one that you know the least about; so that, as is promised in the last line in the Canticle of Zechariah in today’s Gospel, God will “guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Where are you yearning for the light of Jesus to “guide [your] feet into the way
of peace?” Which of the 4 priorities of Pax Christi USA do you know the
least about? Take some time today to go deeper into that priority area.


Find more reflections and resources for the season on our Advent 2020 webpage.

Leave a Reply