Today we celebrate the birth of The Biggest Present ever given. A Saviour to free us from sin, to take away the wrath we deserve and puts it on Himself, a death-conquering King who calls us His brothers.
If your Christmas this year feels like it is not ‘perfect’, keep in mind that the first Christmas wasn’t exactly either. It was earthy and humble, and probably cold. It certainly didn’t go according to plan. Mary and Joseph didn’t have a nice place to stay, I’m sure the food wasn’t exactly exquisite and they did not have their family around them. Maybe your health is not the best, so you’re in a good position to commiserate with Mary who had many hours on a bumpy donkey and who had to give birth in some cave possibly with some smelly animals around. No doctor. Maybe the gifts you receive this year aren’t quite what you were hoping for. Jesus wasn’t exactly the kind of Messiah the Jews had been hoping for either. We shouldn’t scorn His gift, and should mirror that by not scorning (even in our hearts) the gifts we are given this year. Celebrate wholeheartedly this year whether your means are lavish or humble, because the Reason remains the same, and His Gift is lavish!
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The birth story of Jesus, for good measure. :-)
The Birth of Jesus
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 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. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 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.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 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.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.