Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for our time together. Thank You for speaking to me and wanting to share Your love with me. Please help me to remember to daily share my life with You and to always seek Your lovely face. Help me to cherish Your presence and to acknowledge You as my Lord and Savior. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Read: Luke 2:21-40
Thoughts: Christmas 2011 is almost over. The presents have been purchased and possibly even unwrapped by the time you read this. The dinners have been planned and anticipated. The cookies have been baked and consumed. The hurry can be set aside for another year. Over the course of these 4 weeks, we have closely examined the Christmas story as found in the Bible, focusing in on the details and lessons that we never become too old or too wise to revisit. While looking back upon the whole of it, a significant thought occurs; this story contains not just a few miracles, but several, all stacked one on top of the other to create a most amazing story.
In one short year, we have numerous events that bear the fingerprint of God, without which, none of it would have happened. Let’s review:
- ¨ The birth of John the Baptist. Six months before Jesus, we have the arrival of the “last prophet” in the Old Testament style, John the Baptist. His conception was a miracle, as his mother was barren and at the time of his birth, quite old. His father, Zachariah, is struck dumb by the angel of the Lord because of his doubt. That tongue is restored upon the birth of the child and his praises begin.
- ¨ The Virgin becomes pregnant. A young girl, in her mid-teens is visited by the Holy Spirit and becomes pregnant with the Child, Immanuel. She accepts the position of the mother of God’s child with willingness and grace.
- ¨ Joseph receives instruction from the Lord in a dream about Mary’s pregnancy and receives her as his wife, becoming the earthly step-father to the Savior.
- ¨ When Jesus is born, a mighty crowd of angels appear to simple shepherds out doing their job at night. In a glorious display of heavenly joy and worship the angels share the news of Jesus’ birth, causing the shepherds to go and check it out.
- ¨ A special star appears in the heavens to announce the birth of the Messiah. Wise men see this star and head in the direction of Bethlehem to see the Baby for themselves.
- ¨ Those same wise men are warned in a dream by God Himself not to deal with Herod anymore, as he means the Child evil.
This is just a sampling of the incredible events that took place over the course of a year in order that Jesus might become one of us. If you pay attention to the story, you will find that the one unremarkable thing that happened was the actual birth of Jesus. It was a normal, everyday birth.
Each one of these miracles points to the glory of God and bring to us a wondrous story of God’s provision for our greatest need. As the story of Jesus’ births is rehearsed one last time during your holiday celebrations, take a moment to marvel at the amazing story that makes up the beginning Jesus’ life, for 33 years later, another miraculous event takes place as our sins are covered in the blood of this perfect Child and our death is eaten up by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. May this Christmas be a time of wonder for you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, as you came for me as a Child, please come for me again to take me home with You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.