The Birth of Jesus
Open Your Bible
Luke 2:1-52, Isaiah 9:2-7, Galatians 4:4-5
What is a book you’ve read again and again? Or perhaps a movie you’ve seen more times than you can count? Or a song you’ve had on repeat for years? Though I’ve read the words of my favorite book or watched the same scene of my favorite movie a dozen times, I often react to it differently depending on the day I’ve had or the season of life I’m in. I may feel a lot of emotion, or I may feel inspired. Other times, I may simply want to listen, watch, and savor the story. Let the words and notes sink in.
Something I love about Luke’s narrative of Christ’s birth is the array of responses from those who witnessed the Messiah, either at His birth or soon after. From awe to silence to praising God, I think we can learn as much about the significance of the incarnation from these responses as we can from the details of the birth itself.
Mary’s response to her son’s birth is quiet and contemplative. While the shepherds, after meeting Jesus, ran off and told everyone about what they had seen, Scripture says, “Mary was treasuring up all the things in her heart and meditating on them” (Luke 2:19). She savored the moment, holding it near to her, letting it sink into her heart and mind.
Simeon, the righteous servant of the Lord, responded to meeting the Messiah by praising God and declaring the mighty works Jesus would do. As he tells Mary, “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel” (v.34).
Then there is Anna, the prophetess. Her response to the Messiah’s arrival was gratitude and, like the shepherds’, to spread the good news: “At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about Him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (v.38).
Jesus’s birth evoked silent awe, praise, gratitude, and the need to tell everyone about it.
Most likely, the story of Jesus’s birth is not new for you. You’ve probably read it or heard it told again and again. But I wonder, what is it evoking in you today? Awe, joy, gratitude, praise? Do you want to shout about it from the rooftops like Anna, or do you want to be still and treasure it in your heart, as Mary did? Though our responses will vary, we are united by the reason behind the coming of the Messiah.
“God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4–5).
We are redeemed. We are adopted. We are a part of God’s family. No matter what kind of day you are having or what sort of season you are in—quiet and contemplative or loud and joyful—let the story of Christ’s birth remind you of these truths today.