We find these words in Luke 2:1-20…

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and 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 among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

For most of us this is a very familiar story. It’s the Christmas story. It’s about the birth of Jesus, our Savior. There are songs about it. Children act the story out at church. Sermons are preached about it. Families gather and read it before opening gifts. It is a very familiar story…maybe too familiar. It is so familiar that we are not in awe anymore about God’s redemptive plan that started with the birth of His Son and our savior.

We find ourselves early in the month of December. I want to offer a few challenges to you as you move through this busy month that will help us slow down a bit and be reminded of what God did for us in the gift of Christmas.

  1. Read Luke 2:1-20 every day in the month of December and ask God to help you understand anew the greatest gift ever given to you.
  2. Ask God, in prayer, to restore the awe that you had the first time that you understood the impact of the Christmas story.
  3. Share the Christmas story with a friend or co-worker and talk about the impact it has had on your life.

In closing, I leave you with these words from Isaiah 9:6-7…

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

God bless you and your family as we celebrate the best gift ever given…Jesus!