Christmas Day is here, it’s one of my favorite days of the year!
Something about Christmas day puts everyone in a good mood. Getting together with family, giving and receiving gifts, and most importantly for my family – celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
While a lot of the Christmas holiday has been over-run by consumerism and greed that has become so prevalent in our culture, for me looking back to God’s word really brings me back to how for so many generations God’s people had been looking forward to the coming of a savior.
In Isaiah 9:6-7 the coming savior is prophesied.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7
Jesus was born as a small helpless child, such an unassuming package for the one prophesied as the “Mighty God” and “Prince of Peace”. He came to save us from our sins, and I’m so thankful for his sacrifice on this day.
No matter how many times I hear it, the Christmas story always gives me chills when I think of the angels praising God and singing in the heavens that night. I can only imagine how it must have been. So one more time, here is the Christmas story – this time from The Message translation.
The Birth of Jesus
About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.
An Event for Everyone
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!
God bless you on this Christmas Day, and I hope the meaning of the season brings you as much hope as it does to me.