Jesus Is Born

Christmas Eve (Morning) | December 24, 2018

Isaiah 9:2-7  •  Psalm 96  •  Titus 2:11-14  •  Luke 2:1-14, (15-20)

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 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. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 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,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Luke 2:1-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

This morning we have the first half of the nativity story as Luke tells it. We learn that Mary and Joseph have taken the journey to Bethlehem, the city of Joseph’s ancestors. Mary and Joseph were poor, so more than likely they made the journey by foot. It is here in Bethlehem that Jesus is born. It was a humble birth and as my niece posted on Facebook yesterday, it was probably anything but a silent night – even thought that is one of my favorite carols. Jesus was a normal newborn. He cried when he was hungry – or needed his diaper change. Jesus was God in the flesh – more on that in tomorrow’s devotional based on John 1.

Jesus’ arrival here on earth was not announced to kings and other important people, but was announced to some shepherds who were tending to their sheep outside of Bethlehem. The angels announce the birth and they tell the shepherds to go see the baby. Just before the angels leave they give these wonderful words:

“Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Luke 2:14

This season we have been anticipating the arrival of hope, peace, joy, and love – and he has now arrived!

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