The Birth of Jesus
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. e went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. hile they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
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.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
I’m suffering from a bit of a holiday hangover. Ok, not really, but good food, great family time and the fact that my kids, even Seth, didn’t go to sleep until after midnight forced me to wake up HOURS earlier than I wanted. But as I lay there this morning, I was able to ponder some things in my own heart.
I love that verse – “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” I’ve always been good at thinking things through, but I don’t think it was until I got pregnant with Elijah that I truly learned how to ponder. I learned how to treasure all of the moments in life, to take time to stop and really ponder. In this last year, the Sanders have all realized how precious life really is. Every person in Chip’s immediate family (mom, dad, sister & brother) have all had rather serious health crises in the past year. Yesterday was all the craziness – while I enjoyed it, I’m glad to have it out of the way. Today will be more reflectful. We’ll take time to treasure up memories and to ponder them in our hearts. We’ll think of all the things that we’ve been blessed with and all that He’s brought us through. We’ll treasure the peace that brought us through the hard times and the joy we have as overcomers. And most of all, we’ll celebrate the birth of a Savior – without whom there would be no hope. We’ll look forward to the next year and know that come what may, God will be with us. Because He is Emmanuel and *that* is what Christmas is really all about!