December 24, 2021
A lot of movement and action had been happening lately. Caesar Augustus had decreed that a census be taken. Therefore, everyone had to be registered in their city of birth. With Mary being pregnant, we can be sure that neither Joseph nor she had any thought of making a ninety-mile grueling road trip from their hometown Nazareth to Bethlehem.
But things can change so rapidly in life. Even today, some of us have experienced having to relocate unexpectedly. This is the situation that Joseph and Mary found themselves in. They probably had taken no more than the bare necessities with them on the trip. But while they were out of town, in Bethlehem, it was time for the Baby to be born.
On the outskirts of town, there were shepherds who lived in the fields. Things were mundane and ordinary that evening with them; just keeping watch over their flock as they had done many times before. But suddenly things changed in their lives as well and before the night was over movement was required of them, too; not to be registered, in the city where they were born. But movement instead to behold the newborn baby – Jesus Christ the Lord.
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 clothes, lying in a manger.”
This unexpected angelic visitor announced the birth and told exactly who the Baby was: a Savior, Christ the Lord. They were told where to find Him: in the city of David, Bethlehem. And, that He would be wrapped in swaddling clothing and 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.”
The shepherds believed what they had heard, and they were obedient in making no delay as they journeyed. “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.” (Luke 2:1-20)
This article was first published in The Omaha Star – December 24, 2021 © 2021, “God’s Word, Alive!” This article may be freely copied and distributed so long as the copyright notice and website address are included.
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