Advent 2017: Joy to the World: Day 23

The Birth of Jesus

by

Today's Text: Luke 2:1-20, Galatians 4:1-7

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:1-20, Galatians 4:1-7

“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had seen and heard, which were just as they had been told.”
- Luke 2:20

Those shouts of praise had been a long time coming. For generations, God’s people had been promised a Messiah—a Rescuer, a Redeemer. For generations, they looked for Him to come. And when He did, He came quietly, meekly. Were it not for the angels’ singing, would the shepherds have known? The appearance of heavenly host made it clear: this was not to be missed.

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people he favors!”
- Luke 2:14

And who did He favor, but these unsuspecting shepherds guarding their flocks in the dark? They were society’s figurative and literal outcasts, existing in the margins and living with livestock. But the angel did not mince words; this announcement was for them. “Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you” (v. 11). All the waiting—from generation to generation, from throne rooms to sheeps’ fields—had not been in vain.

The baby in the manger is every promise of God fulfilled (2 Corinthians 1:20). He is the Son of God, the great light to the nations. He is the King of kings and the Prince of peace. He is faithful love and eternal hope.

This is the news the angels sang from the sky over the fields of Bethlehem that night. These men who had the unclean job of keeping the lambs that would be sacrificed at the temple for the sins of the people, were the first to hear that the true Passover Lamb—the spotless sacrifice born to atone for the sins of the world—had come.

This is Christmas—good news of great joy for the shepherds sitting outside the city in the dark. Good news of great joy for us, right where we are.

Luke’s Gospel says when the angels left after that glorious announcement, the shepherds looked at one another and said, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us” (Luke 2:15). Oh, that we would do the same on this Christmas day!

Wherever you are today—whatever your longing, your need, your shortcomings, your circumstance—go straight to Bethlehem. See the baby lying in a manger, born to set us free from sin and death. See the God Most High who made Himself low. See the living, breathing hope that is for all people. Let the realities of this complicated, beautiful, broken world be enveloped in the truth that is above all truths: The Lord, your Savior, has come. Joy to the world.

 

A Prayer for The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day
Almighty God, you have given your only begotten Son to take our nature upon Him, and to be born this day of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.

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  • What I love most about this story is the character of Jesus that we get to see. How He orchestrated every detail to show of a humble, meek, and glorious moment in time this one. He came low and thought of the shepherds who handled lambs tat they should be included. He allowed our savior to be born where lambs are in the barn, next to animals – He is wise and He is faithful. I just rejoice over what He has done and continues to do in our lives. Hope everyday is as joyful as this day as we know He lives!

  • Jocelyn Hammer

    I was struck as I read by the fact that the shepherds would have gone from door to door, looking for information on the new baby. Perhaps they went to door where there was a baby, but the wrong one. Perhaps people were nasty to them because they were shepherds. But people would have known what was going on, and they would eventually have been directed to the right place.
    I think today it would be a little bit like bin men going house to house looking for a miracle baby.

  • Crystal Mendez

    Jesus Christ, the hope of glory!

  • Merry Christmas! Gal 4:7 really caught my eye today! Our family reads Luke 2 every year at our family gathering and I almost have the whole story memorized. However, when I read the verses in Galatians today, it blew me away the realization of that verse. We are no longer slaves, thanks to the baby in the manger. We are full fledged members of the house, thanks to Christ. No matter our circumstance, our station, the size of our wallet, or the number of gifts under the tree. If we call out to God and submit our lives to Him, we are family.

    What an amazing gift today. Merry Christmas SRT sisters. May God continue to give you wisdom, comfort, and peace in Him.

  • Merry Christmas to you all!! Thankful for this community of women who purpose to read and apply God’s Word to our lives. Praying you all have a wonderful Christmas and new year!!

  • Debra Taylor

    The reality of Christ, the real, touchable, tangible Christ has never been more real to me on any other Christmas. I am currently in Thailand and have spent the day teaching others that today is Jesus’ birthday. A lot of his world just do not know this!

    He is a most gracious God. He is love incarnate. Don’t miss the reality that God Himself came to earth to save His people from their sins.

    Merry Christmas!

  • Merry Christmas. The past year has been full of hurt and uncertainty. But God is always faithful and He had a plan through it all. It was a joyous Christmas with many of our trials resolved and faith tested and expanded through it all. Surely the God who came as a humble baby to save the world can continue to do more than I can ask or imagine. I am humbled and thankful. O come let us all adore him Christ the Lord.

  • Kelly Chataine

    God, through His word, told my husband and me to not be afraid and encouraged us with His good news. After a difficult and tearful Christmas Eve, I spent an hour and half focusing upon God’s Word, His promises and prayer. My husband and I have been strengthened in our faith, we trust and we wait on God! We know God has already worked our situation out for good. We trust and we wait on God, while we proclaim the truth of our Savior! May God be praised! (Thanks to all of you that prayed!)

  • Katie Stevenson

    Merry Christmas, dear friends! I’m having some mid-day quiet time right now, with instrumental Christmas music playing softly and tree lights twinkling, and reflecting on God’s goodness and the miracles of His work here! I’m saying a prayer for each of you, for peace and joy in the knowledge and fullness of Him.

  • Allison Joy

    Merry Christmas! I use NASB, which is one of at least two versions (that I know of, NKJV being the other) that capitalized the pronouns referring to Jesus. And it is that simple capitalization that caught my eye as I was reading the Luke passage in church yesterday. “So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.” “…as He lay in the manger.” Not just any baby, but Him. Our Savior. That simple capitalization of “He” shows His divinity, from birth.

  • Daniella Moore

    Love has a name.
    Victory has a name.
    Joy has a name.
    My hope has a name.
    Jesus!

  • Merry Christmas SRT fam!! Love you all! So thankful for a Savior that came down to us, to me, the scraggly, poor, dirty shepherd. He came for the broken, and he has made us clean. As white as snow. Lord help me always remember that.

  • Courtney Cates

    This has always been one of my favorite Christmas stories since I was little! Merry Christmas to my fellow SRT readers and Christian women!

  • Merry Christmas!

  • Merry Christmas my SRT sisters! I am so blessed to walk this journey I’m so thankful for all of you! My heart (despite our present situation) is full of joy as both my children woke up very happy this morning!

  • Merry Christmas!!! Yes….Joy to the World, The Lord has come!!!!!”

  • Shelley Christine

    This just saved Christmas for me, wrapping it up in the gift I needed. Thank you for the devotional. And joy to all of you today

  • Merry Christmas, sisters ❤️ today I’m rejoicing in this adoption that has restored all my hope in my life and in the world. He loves us. He wants us. He goes to great lengths for us and does it in humility and intimacy. “Wherever you are today…go straight to Bethlehem.”

  • Merry Christmas, sisters. May the Lord bless you today with a fresh view of Himself, our Savior.

  • My favorite line from SILENT NIGHT: “Son of God, love’s pure light.” Yes, let’s return again and again to Bethlehem to see and bow down to our “Messiah, the Lord.”

  • Merry Christmas! I just wanted to say to those following my situation and praying about my husband been fired the first week of December, he got an amazing job last Friday! We are so excited. Last November he kept saying to us that he wished he could spend Christmas season with us since in 14 + years he has never spent Christmas time with us due to his past demandign job ( Retail GM) God knew the desires of his heart and he answer his prayer. It was a sad time and big shock but we kept our eyes glue to the light, we kept praying, we kept believing and we kept waiting for a miracle and we knew the Lord was going to bless us with something amazing, all the glory to him! Sisters keep believing, keep praying, HE IS FAITHFUL!!! Hope you all have a blessed and wonderful day with your families this Christmas Day!

  • Sophie Brockell

    Merry Christmas, SRT fam!! love y’all :)

  • Melanie Bisson

    Merry Christmas, sisters!!

  • Katalina Gonzalez

    Merry Christmas to my SRT sisters! Thank you for this wonderful community and let us rejoice in the coming of our King Jesus Christ!

  • Mari Ann Hartzog

    Merry Christmas to you all! May each of your minutes today be filled with the love and joy!

  • Joanne Reiniger

    Merry Christmas! How perfectly beautiful. God almighty rescues his people. I am always awed by this great God who humbled Himself for undeserving people such as me. Think about what even being born means. Think about a heavenly host announcing the birth of the Holy One to really a lot of sheep and comparatively few shepherds who were rumored to be quite sketchy. But this is what it took and so much more to deliver the word and make a new creation. No, all religions are not the same. This is the only true God and the only one I’ve ever heard of willing to go to unlimited extent to rede His people from their sin and misery. Merry Christmas!

  • Thank you, LORD, for your Son and His sacrifice. Thank you for loving us, thank you for your grace. Amen! ♡

  • Churchmouse

    “Good news of great joy” results in the glory of God revealed! Praying that we are aware of His Presence in our lives every day. Merry Christmas to you all!

  • Victoria Velez

    Merry Christmas everyone. Thank you God for loving us all so much that you came down from Heaven to show us that love through Jesus Christ your son.

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