Christmas Day: Messiah Has Come!

Christmas DayIllustration:  “Adoration of the Shepherds” by Gerard (Gerrit) van Honthorst, 1622.  Oil on canvas.

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be registered, each to his own town.  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,  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child” (Luke 2:1-5).

LinusThe second chapter of Luke may be my favorite Christmas reading, largely because of the lone voice of a small boy named Linus. Surely you remember this young creation of cartoonist Charles Schulz standing alone on the stage with his blanket, reciting Luke’s Christmas story to explain the real meaning of the holiday. Before I even knew who Jesus was, I treasured these words and pondered them in my heart.

The circumstances of Jesus’ birth fulfill yet another of God’s promises. The emperor ordered that a census be taken, so Joseph took Mary from their home in Galilee and traveled to “Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:4). And there Micah’s prophecy (see Dec. 13) came to pass. Out of the smallest clan of Judah, the birthplace of David, came the Messiah. Now Micah’s enigmatic words, that He is “one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days,” make sense. Jesus is the Son of God and has been King from the very beginning.

Prayer: Thank You, God, for the miracle of Christmas, the fulfillment of Your promise. Amen.

As We Wait: Happy Christmas! Today, join the shepherds who received the news of Messiah’s birth. Glorify and praise God for all the things you have heard and seen, which are just as you have been told.


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