We attended church in our pajamas on Sunday. A recent ice storm hit our region forcing all our activities for the day to be canceled or postponed, even the church service. We began by opening the newspaper to a weekly column with a few Bible quiz questions. We were surprised to learn we had missed the question that asked “Where did the Magi find baby Jesus?” We each guessed in a manger, but we were wrong.
“When the Magi saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him with gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh.”
Surprised to have answered wrong we opened God’s word and took turns reading the Christmas story. We were truly surprised to have answered the question incorrectly. We even looked at the nativity scene in our home and saw statues of the Christ child with Mary and Joseph, shepherds, and the three Wise men. But, according to Scripture the Wise men did not arrive until Christ was almost two years old. Their journey took that long! Fortunately Joseph was able to move his family out of the barn and into a house by then.
We were astonished to learn the truth! Perhaps we were just a little too familiar with the story to make the connections. I wonder if we are all just a little too familiar with the story without knowing the truth. I encourage you to read the Christmas story found in Luke 2:1-20, Matthew 1:18-2:12, Isaiah 7:14 & 9:6-7. Ask God to open your eyes to see it with a fresh vision. The history of eternity in the making.
As I read aloud “because there was no room for them in the Inn” (Luke 2:7) song lyrics filled my mind as I tearfully sung “Let every heart prepare Him room…”
As we celebrate Christ’s birthday, will you prepare Him room in your heart? He already has prepared a room for you. “In my Father’s house there are many rooms…I’m going to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:2-3
Again I ask: Will you prepare Him room?
“May you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12
The Christmas Story
Isaiah was a prophet would lived and prophesied about Christ’s birth approximately 700 years before Christ was born!
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Emmanuel (meaning God with us).” Isaiah 7:14
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this”. -Isaiah 9:6-7
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to their 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. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 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 that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, 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 heaven, and on earth peace to those 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.” Luke 2:1-20
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet Or was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”Isaiah 7:14 (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” -Matthew 1:18-25
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi (Traditionally wise men from the east) came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’Micah 5:2,4” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”