Scripture

Luke 2:1-20

The Birth of Jesus

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. 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.

 

Reflection

Merry Christmas! Find some time today to read these verse slowly and thoughtfully. Perhaps read them to or with your family. This is the Christmas story! In these few verses, we see the immense love God had for us, for you, me, and all of creation. God gave himself to us in the form of a helpless infant. It’s unimaginable, really.

My favorite part is the angels. “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.’” The angel came to announce the birth to the shepherds, then many angels gathered to sing praises. What a beautiful image! The awe, the wonder, the worship, the pure joy!

Are you experiencing that awe and wonder today? I’m not talking about the joy of family or not, the joy of gifts and food, or not, but rather the awe and wonder of Christ, pure and simple. What do you especially appreciate and admire about this gift of Christ? Let the angels lead you in praise to the Son of God…

Prayer

Dear Lord, Don’t let me become so familiar with the Christmas story that it doesn’t still move me to worship and praise. Remind me to treasure the gift of Immanuel, God with us. Help me to be more than just a spectator to the birth of Christ, and allow me to participate with you in your story! Guide me to share in the awe and wonder of the nativity and let me worship Christ at his holy manger today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.