Merry Christmas! May the peace and joy of Christ’s coming be with you and yours today and always.
Our scripture this morning is Luke 2:1-20.
“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 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, goodwill toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”
The old familiar story that we have heard every Christmas still brings us anticipation and joy. Christ the savior is born! God’s promise has come to love and save and free us. However, it wasn’t how anyone expected Him to come.
It sounds counterintuitive – in order to save us from our human condition, Jesus came as a human? God’s plan for salvation is that we see in Christ what we can be, beloved and sinless. God has the beloved part covered, He loves us so much that He sent His only son to save us while we were still sinners. Turning away from sin and returning in repentance is up to us.
Jesus came to save us, but He also came as one of us. We can relate to Him, He knows exactly how it feels to be human. However, He shows us a better way of living, at peace with God and each other. The Good News of Jesus Christ is given to the world, let us share our joy and the love of God with everyone.
Heavenly Father, we are amazed at how You come to us, a fragile child in need of care. Help us to grow in our faith as Your people, testifying to Your promise of redemption and Your eternal love. Amen.