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"Margaret Waage wrote of an especially important Christmas eve in her life. She got off her job at noon and stood dejectedly in the crowd waiting for the subway train. She had worked by herself all morning since her fellow workers had been given the day off. Now many people around her were talking about their trips home to their families. Some had little children with them. But Margaret had no home – just a rented room – and no plans, no husband and no children, even though she was getting well into her thirties. Suddenly she heard the crystal notes of two flutes interweaving. Down the platform were two young girls, playing Christmas carols. In their serene young beauty, they looked like angels in disguise. She added her quarter to the pile of change in their open flute cases. The train came and went, but she lingered, fascinated by the people who came and dropped coins, even bills. Most were shabbily dressed, but their faces seemed alight with happiness. It occurred to her that these were the poor, the people Christ had greatly loved. On that cold, noisy subway platform they were joined, without knowing one another, in the great Christmas Feast of Love that she had lost sight of in her self-pity. Finally she heard the girls play “O Little Town of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray. Cast out our sin and enter in; be born in us today.” And suddenly, in the middle of that bleak subway station, everything changed. Margaret realized she did have a Christmas feast to go to! The Lord’s Supper at church that evening. Of course she had a home! “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt. 18:20) Of course she had a child! The Holy child could be born in her every day as she sought to love Him above and beyond the hope for a worldly marriage and children. Margaret took the next train, feeling warm and contented. She knew that those two young strangers had given her a magnificent Christmas gift. They had put Christ back where He belonged – in Christmas and in her heart."

In the midst of the storms God is with us, sharing our plight, holding us close, reviving our spirits. He came down so He could raise us up. As we have sung, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.”

(From "The New Guideposts Christmas Treasury - Augsburg, Minneapolis, 1989)

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