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 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, and 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.” (Luke 2:1-14)
Christmas Day, the culmination of the Advent season, celebrates God in Jesus Christ coming to earth, born as a child in humble circumstances.
He grew to lead a sinless life, touch the lives of many, and die for the salvation of the world.
The story of that first day, His birthday, is known as the Nativity. While Christmas Day comes at the end of the Advent season, the birth of Jesus was just the beginning of His saving work.
God in Christ would fulfill His promises to restore creation and His relationship with those whom He chose to be His. That is why you will study the Nativity, Christ’s “first coming,” this second week of Advent.
Pray and Reflect
Take time to look forward today.
Anticipate the end of illness, pain and injustice.
Hold on to the tension you feel between eagerly awaiting Christ’s return and celebrating that He has already come to earth to die for our sins. (written by Elliott Dodge)