December 2012 Devotional
Hey! Hey! You know what? It’s December!! The best month of the year! Do you know why I like December? Because of Christmas! And I can barely wait! It’s such a great and wonderful time. All those gifts that will be there for me Christmas morning!! I’ve been wishing for these gifts all year! I love to see all the presents under the tree with MY name on them! Are you excited too??
But you are not excited about the gifts under the tree? You are excited about something else about Christmas?? What’s that?
Well, yeah. I know who Jesus is. He came to save the world and he was born on Christmas! Can you believe how lucky he was?? Then he gets double gifts right?!?! NO! That’s not how it worked? Are you sure??
Where did the name CHRISTMAS come from? Well, I’m not sure!
Ok, so Christmas actually means Christ's Mass and we are celebrating HIS birthday, not mine!
Not MY birthday?? Very funny!
You are asking me what I know about the birth of Jesus. Well, there was Mary and Joseph, his parents. They were really poor and he was born on a farm. I always see the animals from the farm. You know, cows, sheep, donkeys and stuff.
No? That’s not what happened? So, why do you know so much about it? You read it in the bible? This book right here? Ok, so you want me to read it NOW?
First you want me to read from Isaiah 7:14! So, he was a prophet from the old times and he’s telling about the future here: "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 Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14 NIV)
So, this prophet, Isaiah is talking about Mary here! How did he know that??
Then what happens? Now I start reading in the New Testament! "In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.' (Luke 1:26-28 NIV).
Wow! That Mary had a lot of faith! I would have been terrified!! So, what happens next?
. . . an angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] 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, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:18-25 NIV)
God and the angels seemed to think of everything! But what about the farm thing? Why is baby Jesus always with animals? They had census way back then? Everyone had to go to the city of their family to be counted then Joseph and Mary headed to Bethelehem to be with his family. But when they arrived every place was full and there was no room for them, so someone let them stay in a place where they kept the animals! You mean like a barn?? Poor Mary! She had the baby right there??
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. (Luke 2:6-12 NIV).
Wait! So what’s a manger? Food trough for the animals with hay in it!? This started off pretty good, but I’m not liking the way this story is going at all! It gets better? I sure do hope so! Ok, I’ll keep reading.
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." (Luke 2.13-20 NIV)
That’s an improvement! I can’t imagine seeing a real live angel!! That must have been awesome! Seeing the angel must have made them feel very special! Wow! You mean there’s more to this story?
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi 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. . . . 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 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. (Matthew 2:1-12 NIV)
So the shepherds came to see the Baby Jesus the angel told them about. The wise men brought gifts to the baby savior and that’s why we give presents at Christmas??? Then they saved the bay’s life by ignoring that king that wanted to kill him!!
Now that’s sounding better. You know what? Now that I know the whole story, know what I think? I see exactly why you are excited my friend! Maybe I don’t need all those Christmas gifts under the tree because it seems that we already got the best Christmas gift we could ever receive! We got Jesus, our Savior, himself for Christmas!
May there be peace, joy and love for all of you this Christmas. Let us remember the baby born on Christmas day was saved so that he could save us. Thank you, Lord for this most precious gift, your son.