God is For Us

Luke 2:1-14 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.

The Shepherds and the Angels

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!

 

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Cave used as a stable in Israel

It may have been in a cave much like this one we visited in Israel where we would find Jesus laying in a manger.  Smelly, unclean and with the remnants of animal manure, caves such as this one were natural stables for shepherds.

I love to think on the birth of Jesus because it is a humbling reminder that Jesus was born as a human in the poorest of conditions.  So significant the announcement of his birth was made to the lowest of society… shepherds.  The Son of God born in the flesh.

It is in Matthew where we read about the visit of the Magi, wealthy outsiders.

As if God is saying “I am sending my only son to you, the lowest of society, the highest of society, the outsiders, and everyone in between.  He is a gift to all.

And he is human.

Jody mentioned in his sermon today that Jesus knew temptations, poverty, frustration, weariness, disappointment, rejection, sorrow, ridicule, loneliness, and pain.  We tend to think of Jesus as a superhuman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but we forget he was as human as you or me.

Philippians 2:1-11 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God is for us, he knows us, he knows the pains and the joys of being human.  Reflect on it today, as you begin the week and take comfort in a God who is for us all.


Tagged: Christmas, Luke 2, Manger

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