The Birth of Jesus, Luke 2:1-20 (NIV)
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Christmas is a time of the year where most people focus on time with family, shopping for presents for friends and family, eating lots of good food, and parties. It’s a time of the year where people talk about elves, Santa Claus, Christmas tress, cookies, and holiday cheer. Though Jesus was not likely born in December if you go by the Jewish calendar, the intent of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of a King. The King of the Universe came down and humbled Himself. He entered into humanity to eventually save the world.
Jesus was not born in a 5 star hotel. He was not born to rich and wealthy parents. He was not born in the best of circumstances. He was born in a manger. I grew up on a farm, and I can tell you animals stink. A manger is a trough that animals eat from. The Savior of the world was born in a place where animals dwelt. He entered into a world filled with sin, darkness, and pain. He came to be the atoning sacrifice for the world’s sin.
I never want to forget that Christmas is supposed to be about celebrating His birth and life on earth. He left paradise for our sinful world. Not only did He leave paradise, He entered the world the way we enter the world. He was born. Jesus had to grow up just as we do. He did not show up as a fully grown adult. He learned to crawl, walk, and be taught by His earthly parents. He experienced the same life issues we experience. He grew from a baby to an adult.
We have such a great Savior. He came for love. He came out of His great love for humanity. He came in the most humble way. This Christmas may we think of gifts to give God for the birth of His Son. Christmas isn’t about us and what we can acquire for ourselves. It’s the most beautiful love story ever lived and told. Jesus is the reason for the season. What the world needed and still needs is God’s great love.
Thank you God that love came down and dwelt among us.