Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gift from God, Part 3

Luke 2:1-20 At that time Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. When this first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own hometown.

Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David.

He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger---there was no room for them to stay in the inn.

There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born---Christ the Lord!

And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!"

When the angels went away from them back 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." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger.

When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said.

Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them.

The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.

Can you imagine? Place yourself in this story. In the place of a shepherd. Looking after your sheep on a cool dark night. Then the sky suddenly lights up, a singing, loud singing, is heard. I think I would nearly pass out!

And Mary. As all of these miracles were unfolding around her, she thought deeply about them. She marveled in how God does all that He says He will! He can do the impossible!

Thank you Jesus, for coming as a baby, in such humble conditions. Thank you for enduring our human stupidity firsthand, in order that You would save us! Thank you for not giving up on us, no matter what, so that we will be with You one day in heaven.

Praise be to Your Holy Name. ~Amen

May everyone have a happy and safe Christmas. We will see you back in a few days!!!