Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Story 6, Jesus is born! (Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:6-7, Matt. 2:9-11, Luke 2:15-20, Isaiah 11:10)

"We have a Savior!"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6  

Many Jews, like Joseph, were in Bethlehem for the Census.  The inns were full.  Perhaps the travel between Nazareth and Bethlehem took a bit longer for Mary and Joseph.  There wasn't a mid-wife or Mary's family to help out, they were alone.  But they did just fine.  Mary may have felt a little sad that Jesus' birth turned out this way.  She probably felt bad that the Son of God was born in a manger.   Maybe she even had special plans for His birth.  But, God had this all figured out...  

6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the innLuke 2:6-7
There would've been this strange star lighting where Jesus lay.  A heavenly spotlight on the baby.  
The wise men came to see where the star shone in Bethlehem and they found the King of the Jews and Gentiles.  God can use anyone to fulfill His plan!
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:9-11

The gold was a gift for a King.  The frankincense was used as incense or perfume.  It was also used in temple sacrifices.  Jesus would become the sacrifice for our sin.  The myrrh was used to embalm bodies- these gifts were of great financial worth.  It took faith to follow a star from their own country to another.  They were rewarded, and rejoiced with exceedingly great joy!  All doubt is gone.  Perhaps Joseph burned a little frankincense for his wife.  Or maybe the gifts were too sacred to touch.  Joseph and Mary had money to take care of Jesus.  Amazing how He provides our needs.

It was dark out, and while Mary rested with the baby, and Joseph talked with the wise men, a strange bleeting and the excited voices of men started getting closer.  Suddenly, a crowd of shepherds and sheep came to them.  The experience they shared must've filled Mary and Joseph with awe and wonder.  Tingles.
15 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." 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.  Luke 2:15-20 

If I were a shepherd I'd run to Bethlehem too!  You notice the shepherd's weren't shy about spreading the word of the Angel's visit.  God knows people, He created them.  All through scripture He has chosen people who will either spread the word or remain silent. Mary pondered this in her heart.  I could never do that.  I'd be talking about this for years.  He's finally here!  For the first time in many years shepherds were treated as important people.  God spoke to them, He lit up the sky with angels.  Shepherds were important!  It didn't matter how people treated them.  Almighty God sent His Angels.  We are important to Him too, no matter what we've done or been.  He came for us.

10 "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
And His resting place shall be glorious.Isaiah 11:10

"And His resting place shall be glorious," there were wise men in fine robes, expensive gifts and camels.  Angels sang.  Shepherds and sheep gathered near.  A brilliant star lit the manger.  And a radiant Mary and Joseph rejoice in all they are experiencing.  They are a part of a much bigger plan; Jesus is no longer their secret.  Usually referring to a resting place means a grave.  But Jesus didn't rest... He rose from the grave!  He conquered sin and death.  Now it is 2015 and we wait for more prophecies to be fulfilled, Jesus' second coming.  I believe it will happen as naturally and supernaturally as His first.  There will be no more doubt. 

Silent Night, Sarah McLachlan (link)

We'll watch The Nativity (link) on DVD tonight.  It's always a blessing to see Israel and have a small view of what happened that night.  It's one that can be shown in Church groups.

May God bless you abundantly!
Merry Christmas from New Jersey!

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