Christmas – 2017

From Luke 2 verses 1 through 14 (Life Application Study Bible):

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 his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up to 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 room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds, living out in the fields nearby, keeping 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 of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ 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,

and on Earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one and other, “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.”

And this from writings of Pastor Dawn Spies, Assistant Pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Huburtus, WI:

These few verses in the gospel of Luke contain the entrance of Jesus Christ, God made flesh.  Even if you don’t know much about the politics or the geography, it’s had to miss the scope of this event.  We begin with a declaration from Caesar Augustus that can make every man, woman and child relocate for a census.  We end with lowly, scruffy shepherds as audience to a heavenly choir.  We hear the proclamationof good news and great joy…and find a new mother who “gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).  In the midst of these few verses, God shows us the sweep of His mighty reach from the heights of power to the lowly workers; the span of all creation is present at the birth of God’s only son.  And he comes in this unexpected way: a tiny baby.  In the midst of this Christmas, let us keep watch for all the ways God shows up.  Let us make room.  Let us pray:  Heavenly Father, prepare us to welcome your Son anew this day.  Show us how to make room in our hearts, to welcome Christ into our lives and to be the light of Christ to others, this day and every day.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

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