12/24/19

Our Christmas scripture is Luke 2:1-20.

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.
Luke 2:1-7

We know this story so well, but we still ask questions. Why would Joseph take Mary on such a journey in her condition? Why wouldn’t they have left early? Why didn’t he stay with family? They are honest questions, but answering them is hard, if not impossible. We humans are also good at asking the wrong questions, things that don’t add to our understanding of the lesson we have been given.

God wants us to see Joseph and Mary as faithful people who said “yes” to His call. He wants us to know that they faced hardships along the way but that He was them and provided for them. At the heart of this story is the question God asks of us – Will you trust Me?

Jesus wasn’t born in a palace to powerful people. He was born in a lowly place to an ordinary couple. God wants us to know that He came to be with all of us. Even though He is God Almighty, he came as a vulnerable child, not a conquering king. He came to teach us to love and care for one another regardless of our class or background. We need to ask “what is the truth in the story” and not “is the story true” in order to understand what God is saying to us. May He bless you in this special time of celebration and lead you to a closer connection with Him.

Loving Lord, we are easily distracted by our questions about “what really happened”, and we lose the true meaning of the blessing You send us. Help us to open our hearts to Your love and light, and accept the call You make to all of us to share the Good News – Christ the Savior is born! Amen.

Published by Pastor Doug

UMC pastor, Retired USAF, husband, father, grandfather

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