JESUS IS COMING!
This weekend is one of the most significant and exciting events we celebrate as Christians. Not because of the decked out trees, pretty gifts wrapped with bows, or cookies by the fire (although those are nice!)--but because our Savior was born!
A few thousand years ago everything changed for mankind. The Creator of the universe wrapped himself in flesh and became a sacrifice for our sins; bridging the gap between us and God.
On the night Jesus came to Earth, Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem. It's not where they lived, but where they traveled to for the required census going on in the land. Joseph was from the line David, and David was from Bethlehem, hence the trip.
Mary went into labor that night and gave birth to the Savior of the world. He didn't come in grand entrance or through a royal family; he was born in relative obscurity on a quiet night in a small town.
Only a handful of people knew what was happening, but the handful of people who did is quite an interesting mix. Besides Mary and Joseph, there were shepherds who were clued in and magi from far away. What's fascinating is who God chose to announce the arrival of His Son to.
Shepherds in that day were considered the lowest of the low. Their jobs were not sought after and their life was rough. They literally slept with the sheep and had little social interaction. But these were the people God often noticed. Many of His chosen were once shepherds. God chose to proclaim the arrival of the Savior to a group of shepherds out keeping watch on their flock.
The other group made aware of his arrival were magi from the east. Magi were essentially astronomers and were considered influential; a far cry from the status of shepherds in this culture. These wise men saw a star in the sky and knew it was a sign. Experts of the sky, it would indeed require a miraculous and unusual sign for them to take notice like that. We don't know exactly how they knew the star signaled the birth of the king of the Jews, but they did and they followed.
Now, contrary to popular myth we don't know if there were three exactly, only that there were multiple magi, and they didn't arrive the night of Jesus' birth. It took them months, perhaps a year or two, for them to travel to meet Jesus.
God used the bottom of the social class and the top to announce the birth of His Son. Everyone else in between would hear more in the coming years that the Messiah had come.
This weekend is Christmas and it's this night we remember. We celebrate that Jesus, Son of God, became flesh and walked the Earth with men. He lived a perfect life and made the sacrifice that only a spotless lamb could make. And he did it all for us. For you. We don't deserve and we can't earn it, but it's a gift we receive by believing in Jesus.
I hope you'll take a moment and reflect on this story outlined in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 both personally and with your family. Read the Christmas story to your children. Pray as a family and thank God that He sent His only Son to save you. That's what this holiday is really all about. JESUS.