11 July 2013
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Luke 2:1-20
New Living Translation (NLT)
*The Birth of Jesus*
*2 *At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census
should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. *2 *(This was the first
census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) *3 *All returned
to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. *4 *And
because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to
Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the
village of Nazareth in Galilee.*5 *He took with him Mary, his
fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
*6 *And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.
*7 *She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly
in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no
lodging available for them.
*The Shepherds and Angels*
*8 *That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby,
guarding their flocks of sheep. *9 *Suddenly, an angel of the Lord
appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded
them. They were terrified, *10 *but the angel reassured them.
“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will
bring great joy to all people. *11 *The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the
Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! *12 *And
you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped
snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
*13 *Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the
armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
*15 *When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to
each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that
has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
*16 *They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there
was the baby, lying in the manger. *17 *After seeing him, the
shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said
to them about this child. *18 *All who heard the shepherds’ story
were astonished, *19 *but Mary kept all these things in her heart and
thought about them often.*20 *The shepherds went back to their flocks,
glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was
just as the angel had told them.
What an incredible celebration!
I can remember, vividly, the first few moments after the birth of my
son – including the responses of my best friend and in-laws who met
our baby just a few minutes after he was born. It was a celebration of
Imagine, now, what that celebration would have been like considering
this was no ordinary baby. This was Jesus, the Messiah, whose birth
was announced by the angels. Being part of that celebration must have
been indescribable. So much so, in fact, that even the retelling of
the story (verse 17) left people amazed and astonished (verse 18).
And rightly so. The story of Jesus Christ is an astonishing one. We
have the rest of the story, even. Yet – how often does the story of
Jesus leave us, or the people we speak to, ‘astonished’ or
The church faces the continuous danger of being desensitized to the
reality and amazement that is found in the story of Jesus Christ.
Sometimes all it takes is for us to revisit the truth of Jesus through
our imaginations and emotions – placing ourselves in the situations
and trying to comprehend how incredible it must have been to be part
of the life of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
A CALL TO ACTION
Today, take some time to imagine the celebration that must have taken
place when Jesus was born. Think further though, to why people were
celebrating. What is it about the birth of Christ that gave the
shepherds and their audience such joy and hope? Are those same things
giving you hope today?
A PRAYER TO PRAY
Jesus thank you for being indescribably good, kind, gracious, loving,
merciful. Help me today to remember how incredible Your story is.
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