Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Best Christmas Gift, By Sarah P.

The Best Christmas Gift

By Sarah P.

What is the best gift you've ever given someone for Christmas? To answer this, we have to know what Christmas is really about. Many of us know the Christmas story as recorded in Luke chapter two.

"At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David's ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first Child, a Son. She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger." Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-the armies of heaven-praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.'

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the Baby, lying in the manger. After seeing Him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this Child. All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them."
-Luke 2:1-20
Can you imagine Jesus doing this for us? He was willing to come down to earth as a little Jewish baby boy instead of staying in heaven. He was willing to be born into this sinful, dark world to Mary, a poor carpenter's
fiancée, in a smelly stable. Have you seen the picture-perfect nativity scene on ornaments and decorations? While that looks good, the truth is really this: Jesus, God's only Son, chose to be born in less than sanitary conditions, (literally a stable), to be surrounded, most likely, by farm animals at His birth, and for His first cradle to be a cow's feed trough. It probably wasn't the circumstances anyone (including Mary) would have expected. Jesus didn't have it easy from the beginning. He was the real God in our real world; Emmanuel, which means, "God with us."
Another thing some people don't notice is that the first people the angels told about the birth of Jesus were the shepherds. In that time period, shepherds were usually teenagers (before teenagers existed, but they were that age) and didn't have an easy life, either. They had to stay up even on cold nights watching the sheep and guarding them from lions and other predators. They weren't important; they were probably the last people anyone told anything to. Jesus didn't have heralds ride through the city streets at His birth and proclaim, "The Messiah is here!" Instead, He chose for the shepherds to know of His birth first, just like He chose to be born in a stable. Look back at verse 17, "After seeing Him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this Child." What did the shepherds do after they saw Jesus? They told everyone about Him! Not just a few people: everyone! I think they were probably to the point of telling anyone they met in the street about the birth of Jesus! Here's the point: after the shepherds received the best gift ever (Jesus!) they didn't just go home or back to their fields smiling. They did something about it! They wanted other people to know about Jesus! Isn't that the greatest gift you could ever give someone? Accepting Jesus into your heart would be the best Christmas present ever! There are a lot of people who don't know about Jesus. Why don't you witness to them this Christmas? It's not hard; just ask them, "Do you know what Christmas is really about?" There are a surprising number of people who don't know. So, do something with your knowledge about Jesus; tell everyone! It will be the best present you've ever given.


Post a Comment


Bible Gateway Blogger Grid member badge