I hope you will forgive me for recycling a previous article. I am also publishing it a day early, because I know everyone will be very busy tomorrow. I wrote this for Christmas in 2019 and I hope you will enjoy it, either for the first time or as a repeat.
(Recommended reading Luke 1 & 2)
Was Jesus really born on December 25? Most likely that would be a “no”. But is the actual date important? I think not. It is the event itself that is critically important.
Isaiah was a prophet that lived about 700 years before the birth of Jesus. But he foretold the birth of our Savior in Isaiah 7:14b (NLT): “The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)” and then we also have Isaiah 9:6-7 (NLT): “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!”
The fulfillment of those prophesies of old and the story of Jesus’ birth is spoken about in both Matthew (1:18-25) and Luke (1:26-2:20). The Roman Emperor decreed that a census was to be taken and Joseph had to return to Bethlehem in order to register. Although by this time Mary was very near the time for the birth of her child, she made the difficult journey with him. Arriving there, they found no place to stay in the local inns and in order to have some kind of shelter were sent to a barn. As we know, it was at that place where Jesus was born, Mary wrapped him in strips of cloth and they made a bed for him in an animal’s feeding trough. Such a humble, lowly entrance for a child that was Himself, mighty God!
Some angels then made a grand announcement to some shepherds out in a nearby field about the birth of this special child. (Luke 2:8-20) The shepherds, likely knowing of the prophesies that had been given so long ago about this event, anxiously and joyfully traveled to Bethlehem to see the baby. They were so thrilled by what had been revealed to them and seeing the baby Jesus, that they told everyone they saw before returning to their field and their flocks, all the while praising God.
It can be so easy to get drawn into the celebration of Christmas – unwrapping gifts, spending time with loved ones, eating, watching sports on TV and so many other activities – that we can forget what the real purpose is for all of our celebrating.
We need to take time out of our busy schedules to be more like those shepherds that were so filled with joy because of the event they were witness to that they were praising and glorifying God.
On this wonderful day when we celebrate an event that is one of the most important ever to occur in history, do not forget to express thanks and devotion to the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. To the one that came to this earth for the express purpose of sacrificing His own life so that we might live eternally with God.
My prayer for you is that on this December 25 you will rise up that morning thanking God for the glorious gift of Jesus. Then amid the wrapping paper, tables of delicious food, fun and laughter you will love your family and friends with the same deep love God has for all of us.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
Written by Karran Martin – December 22, 2019