Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Keep CHRIST in Christmas:  chriSt – Savior Born for Us  

Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth in Galilee, but the prophet Micah in the Old Testament had foretold the Christ would be born in Bethlehem  Ephrathah (Micah 5:2).  I just recently learned there were two towns in Israel named Bethlehem at the time of Micah, so he was specific as to which one – the town in the south close to Jerusalem.   As Luke chapter 2 tells us, Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem for the census that had been decreed.  And while there, with no room in the town except for stable (barn) the Messiah was born into this world and placed in a feeding trough for a crib.   Humble beginnings.

And with such Good News who should be chosen for the grand announcement?  Kings?  Religious leaders?  The towns people of Bethlehem, the City of David?   As Luke tells us God’s choice:

“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”  When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.  When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.”   Luke 2:8-17

Humble messengers.  Shepherds (a despised people & profession) were told about the birth of the Savior, which implies that people need to be saved or rescued from something.   As Joseph was told in his dream, the child to be born to Mary would be named Jesus, which means “God is Salvation” or as the angel said, “because He will save His people from their sins.”    That salvation was later made possible by Jesus’ humble submission to His death on the cross.   Follow the example of the shepherds and “come see what the Lord has made know to” you.  

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