Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-20

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.'” (Luke 2:13,14)

As we move toward Christmas Day, take time to read the Christmas story found in Luke 2. The message never gets old. It is filled with wonder and glory. I have often pictured Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem. It was a long, difficult trip for a pregnant girl. Can you imagine the disappointment when they arrived in Bethlehem and could not find a suitable place to spend the night? Mary gave birth to the Christ-child in a stable. But God sent messengers of hope and glory that night.

A multitude of angels appeared praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.” The angels’ song surely brought hope, light and encouragement to all who heard. In what could have been disturbing and distressing circumstances — a mother giving birth to her first child in a dirty stable — it turned out to be a day of wonder and praise.

Then God sent the shepherds to visit the young couple and the new born baby — “And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger” (v. 16). The shepherds were filled with great joy — “And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them” (v. 18). What the shepherd experienced in the stable in Bethlehem led them to praise and worship — “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them” (v. 20).

However, Mary “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (v. 19). She remained contemplative though filled with wonder at the birth of her son. She must have reflected upon the words of Gabriel over and over — “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called ‘Holy — the Son of God'” (1:35).

Lord Jesus, every time I read the Christmas story I am so deeply touched by the humble circumstances of Your incarnation. You, the King of kings, were born in a dirty stable. You emptied Yourself of Your glory and took upon humanity and became a helpless baby. You did this for me. Thank You for humbling Yourself so that I could become one of Your children.


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