Does this seem a strange text so close to Christmas? Perhaps this reading is included to remind us that the babe in the manger becomes Christ on the cross. It is much easier to be excited about the baby than to accept the burden of the cross. But we celebrate Christmas because of the cross and God's crazy, amazing love to reconcile humanity with God's own self by taking on human flesh and dwelling among us and ultimately being faithful to the mission even when it meant suffering.
In the Spirit of the One who came to break down every wall that divides, to whom can you offer reconciling words this Christmas season?