Day 24: Luke 2:1-7

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.

Finally! It’s happened! The Saviour the world has been waiting for has been born in the little town of Bethlehem. As the song says, “The hopes and fears of all the years/ Are met in thee tonight.”

We received a paper decoration with a Christmas card a few years ago and it says “Love came down at Christmas.” Indeed, it did. Heaven opened up and entered into this messy world of ours.

As Ann Voscamp wrote,

“Love had to come back for you. Love had to get you. The Love that has been coming for you since the beginning- He slays dragons for you. This is the truest love story of history, and it’s His-Story, and it’s for you. All the other fairy-tale love stories only echo your yearnings for this truest, realest one – this one that has its beginning before the beginning of time. This night, you on this visited planet, your rescue is here.”

(The Greatest Gift, p. 245)

What good news. Christ has come. Humbly, in a small town, as a tiny baby boy. As he grew he knew what it was to be hungry, cold, sad. angry. He knew what it was like to be mocked, scorned, rejected. He knew pain and suffering. He knows all these things and so he can understand our plight, our struggles. And he seeks to give us not just the gift of salvation, but the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love. The gift of Christ isn’t just a one time thing. He’s the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks be to God.

Let us pray.

“O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel.” (Phillips Brooks, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”)

Amen

Questions

In this difficult year which has been 2020, have you been able to know hope, peace, joy or love? If so, praise God. If not, know that he knows your pain and share it with him.

What is your favourite Christmas carol? What is it about it?

What do you think of the idea of the story of God as the truest love story of history?