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Taking a risk as I write this

Taking a risk as I write this:
Part one
Would it be alright if I venture into a few different questions for us?
Now that we have learned about the many of the characters of the Christmas story.
It seems to me that we are not thinking about or focusing on
the one reasonable question.
What about Jesus?
In the beginning He was with God.
That is what Genesis tells us.
They were together as the three in one.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Then the plan from God was to provide a Savior, so, he could save the people from their sins.
As it is written:
Luke 1:35 The baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.
Luke 1:69 He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.
God created a way for us to be saved eternally.
God didn’t have to do that, but HE DID choose to.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world so much that he gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God in his wisdom had to create someone we would relate to.
Someone special and full of meaning, and who could not only change history, but change and restore lives too.
So, at some point in time, the decision was made, for Jesus to come to the scene as a baby,
then to grow up and then to leave again, and return back to the father, after his ministry was over.
Imagine with me for a moment.
What would that be like for Jesus, who was all God and all man, all knowing and still learning?
Jesus the Son of God entered the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit,
as a little tiny egg and grew into a ‘perfect’ little baby,
to be born and placed in a manger in a city called Bethlehem.
As scripture told us.
He had to come with the genealogy alongside him, as he was from the lineage of David.
Taking a risk as I write this.

When Jesus parents had fulfilled

When Jesus parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee.
There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom and God’s favor was upon him. Luke 2:39-40
So, to set the scene for the next few visitors.
The wisemen were coming to visit Mary and Joseph, traveling many miles to get there.
Unlike the manger scenes we have set out in our homes the wisemen arrived a few years later and they came to the house.
In Matthew it shares that they came from eastern lands and arrived in Jerusalem, asking,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? we saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
After speaking to Herod, the star guided them to the place where they lived.
When they entered the house and saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him.
Presenting their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrhh.
When they left, they went a different direction that Herod had said for they were warned by God in a dream not to return to him.
Herod was very upset and a very evil and jealous man who decided that every first-born son under age two were to be killed.
He wanted to be sure the ‘Messiah’ did not survive.
The verse, “a cry was heard in Ramah-weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they were all dead.”
It was a horrible time and when Joseph and Mary heard about all that was to take place they left for Egypt. Until Herods death.
It was to fulfill the prophecy, “I called my son out of Egypt.”
An angel of the Lord instructed Joseph and Mary when it was safe to move forward with their child.
They were able to go back into the town of Nazareth one more time fulfilling part of the story.

A very special meeting took place

A very special meeting took place in the temple where Jesus was presented and officially named.
They were told what his name would be but according to the law it had to be legal as he was presented to the Lord.
At that time there was an old man named Simeon who was righteous and devout and eagerly waiting for the Messiah to arrive.
The Holy Spirit came upon him and told him he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.
The same day Mary and Joseph arrived the spirit led him to the temple too.
Simeon was there, and when he took the child in his arms, he knew the baby was the one.
Joseph and Mary were amazed at this scene between this man and child.
Then Simeon blessed him telling Mary; this child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall but he will be a joy to many others.
He has been sent by God and the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed, and a sword will pierce your very soul.
(Rather odd thing to say to a young couple presenting their baby but it was necessary and prophetic.)
As he was doing this Anna the prophet was there in the temple too.
She was a very old widow and was waiting for the chosen one just like Simeon.
She overheard the conversation that Simeon had with Mary and Joseph, and she began worshipping and praising God.
She talked about this baby to everyone she met. She understood and knew HE was the one.
This was a powerful moment for everyone involved because ‘a baby was born and was presented and was rejoiced over’.
Mary treasure all this in her heart not knowing the full impact of what was to come for her.
I would imagine upon leaving the temple the thoughts were many between Mary and Joseph.
A very special meeting took place in the temple that day.

Suddenly an angel of the Lord

The night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.
Luke 2:9-20
[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 leaving their flocks behind and found Mary and Joseph.
And there was the baby, lying in a manger, just as they were told.
After seeing him the shepherds told everyone in the village, what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.
All who heard the shepherd’s 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.]
Can you even imagine the excitement and the joy they must have felt?
They all saw it, they all heard it, they all were a part of the glorious singing.
We must remember a part of this story, is the fact that shepherds were marginalized people.
Most people left them alone and gave them no credit or worth.
They were out in the fields, dirty and rough. Left alone.
But God…chose them, chose them to be a part of the story forever in time.
They were not what we could call credible witnesses and yet; the people listened and believed them.
I wonder if God planned for them to be chosen, so the story could be told in an amazing way,
through those who normally would not be listened to by others.
Value is always given when God has a hand in a chosen moment.*
It is a powerful thing to be given purpose and honor and especially through the eyes of God.
They were given value and voice and a reason to share.
I would imagine they were amazed for they knew the skies and they knew the glory was new.
Isn’t that hopeful for others who seem to think they have no voice or purpose?
The night there were shepherds staying in the fields and their lives would be changed forever.
Suddenly an angel of the Lord met them.

The next scene that takes place

The next scene that takes place is found in Luke 2.
The census was taken throughout the Roman Empire and Joseph needed to go and be counted.
Because he was a descendant of King David he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea.
While they were there Mary gave birth to Jesus.
Now let’s back up and imagine a journey on country roads that were not easy to travel, and Mary was very round and riding a donkey.
I’m sure she was very tired and worn out from the riding and maybe she walked too we are not told that information.
It was a hard journey, but it was necessary.
When they got to Bethlehem there was no room anywhere for her to rest.
Joseph had relatives there but apparently, they were not open to him staying there, and the census would mean many people would be in that area.
I can’t imagine what Mary thought. Any new mom is fearful of what is to come.
The unknown is hard to deal with and here she was giving birth to a baby.
Perhaps she was alone? We are not told, maybe someone in the town helped her?
Joseph didn’t know what HE was doing or what was expected to do.
It says she wrapped the baby in strips of cloth and laid him in the manger.
There were no diapers, no soft baby blankets, nothing that we would think of when a new baby is born.
YET the baby arrived and the angels too and they were singing GLORY TO GOD…
out in the field where the shepherds were keeping watch at night.
The sky would be bright, and clear and if you have ever looked up in a night sky it is amazing and marvelous….to see the constellation of stars and beauty.
The next scene that takes place is found in Luke 2.