1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23 (As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
There's many verses in the bible that talk about the birth of Jesus. Many scriptures from the old testament as well as the new, that all kind of go together. But I thought I would just stick with this chapter of Luke today as this basic story is one that many people will be reading this week.
Personally, I don't really celebrate holidays, and Jesus was most likely born in June... but, it is good to remember such things anyway.
I really just have a few thoughts about Christmas that I'd like to share today. First, a warning... Be careful. From the time we are a child we are taught much greed in this society. Christmas is longed for by many as a time to get presents. Even those that do focus on the true meaning can get caught up in the whole deal with presents. I haven't been celebrating for the past 6 years I bet... and to this day, I would still get a little disappointed when I get to the last present. I look around and wonder if I missed any. It makes me sad that I feel that at all.
Christmas has nothing to do with presents...
Anyway, the other thing I'd like to mention is LOVE. The one good thing about Christmas is people are kind to one another. People think of others. This, if anything, is the real meaning of Christmas. Wait a second... I thought Christmas was about the birth of Christ?
Well... sure... but... who was Christ? why was he here? LOVE. Plain and simple...
Jesus had a very humble birth... though being in nature God, he became nothing... He became a man. why? Love. God loved us so much that He brought His son into our world here on earth. He lived, he taught, He died.
During His life, He taught the most important things in life were to LOVE God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and then to LOVE your neighbor as yourself. He not only taught this, He lived it. Greater LOVE hath no man than He who lays down his life...... His life was LOVE. His birth, His life, His death... All LOVE.
So... to me, the true meaning of Christmas is LOVE.
The only thing that makes me sad is that for many, this is confined to this one time of year. One of the many reasons why I don't celebrate holidays is because I personally believe that anything worth celebrating is worth celebrating every day of the year. Well... I'm not suggesting celebrating the holiday of Christmas every day of the year..... But that LOVE. As you think about that LOVE, that precious gift of Jesus, and all that it entails... why don't we try to hold onto that throughout the rest of the year...
I hope that all made sense.
Father God in heaven, we thank you for that precious gift you gave to us. Thank you for sending your Son to us as a child. Thank you for the LOVE you showed us through that, and throughout His entire life, and of course His death. I just pray right now that we will all hold onto that LOVE throughout our every day lives and not just one time of year. Help us to look around and see all the needy, hurting, lonely people that need that LOVE so badly. Help us to see those people EVERY day of the year. Help us to see them, and to LOVE them. For when we LOVE others, we LOVE you. Thank you for giving us that LOVE. I pray we accept it, and then pass it on to those around us. Thank you so much for sharing with us this wondrous story so that we may remember all that you have done.
In your Son's precious name I pray...
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