Luke 2: 8-20
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The birth of Jesus, on that day so many years ago, was more than jus the birth of a child. More than the birth of a prophet, or a good man. More than the birth of a philosopher or a social activist.
The birth of Jesus was the birth of God in flesh, when He put aside His heavenly glory to be born as a man. To live and eat and breathe and exist in this fallen world in which we live.
And His purpose was not just to say nice things, and spread peace, and tell folks to treat others nice.
That baby born so long ago was born to bear the burden of sin on the cross, to bear the penalty for all mankind’s sins. Bearing up the penalty for all- those who believed, and those who didn’t. He’s paid the price for us all.
But just like the shepherds, when we hear the news, we must do something with it. To ignore it means we reject His payment of our sins, and must bear the burden of the penalty for eternity. Only by accepting this gift- this precious, ultimate gift to the world made possible by a baby in a manger in Bethlehem can we be restored with God for eternity.
On this day, as we celebrate with gifts and joy and family, remember what we are celebrating. We celebrate becuase of the gift of Christ our Lord, who would be our Savior one day on the Cross of Golgotha.
To all, I wish a Merry Christmas!