True Love Part 3

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The Birth of Jesus Christ
2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.[c]

The Shepherds and the Angels
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[d]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
— -Luke 2:1-21 ESV

I just LOVE the Christmas story! Every year we see Christmas plays and nativity scenes; albeit less than in days gone by. The focus is always on Baby Jesus, as it should be.

This week as we prepare for the Christmas celebration, let’s think about the first Christmas account found in Luke chapter 2.

A young virgin girl, Mary, found favor from God. She was chosen to raise and care for His Son on this earth. I think of this through “rose-colored glasses”. It must have been so awesome to know that you’re son is THE Son of God, THE long awaited Messiah. How special and blessed Mary must have felt, right?

But with that blessing came great hardship. Mary wasn’t married, yet. In that day and time, you could be stoned to death for that. Her reputation was severely tarnished to say the least. And so was the reputation of her husband-to-be since he kept her. (We know God’s angel came to him, like Mary, and explained what was going on.) But their families didn’t know what we know, nor did their friends or onlookers.

People are the same-just the times are different. If folks will talk about you and look down on you now, they would then, too. So we can surmise the pain Mary and Joseph must have went through as vessels that God chose to do such a miracle through.

Don’t you know that Mary must have dreamed of being a mother and what her home would be like and the nursery she would have when the first little one came? But that’s not how it happened. During her first pregnancy she was scorned by society and then gave birth in a barn. Jesus cradle was not hand crafted by Joseph, but was a strangers feed trough.

But God, (my favorite phrase in the Bible) delivered another miracle in the barn. Angels went to shepherds (strangers) who then came to celebrate Jesus! Mary and Joseph must have been shocked at the men coming to their baby’s birth. But what a confirmation of obedience! Scripture says “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

I’ll just bet she did! What LOVE the Father has for us to send His Son to be our Saviour! And what love the Father had for Mary and Joseph to demonstrate such a confirmation of His word at one of the hardest times of their lives (up to that point).

Where can you see the love of God in your life? If you think you can’t, look deeper! God loves you and gave His only begotten Son so YOU could have eternal life. He is pursuing you right now. Why don’t you say “Yes” to that free gift of salvation, today.