I subscribed to the "Daily in the Word" newsletter, and I thought for today I'd post the one that came in this morning.
Thankful for His Birth
Sunday, November 29, 2009
by Dr. Paul Chappell
"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:4-7
The birth of Christ has forever changed our world.
Outside of Hodgenville, Kentucky, stands a house that looks like any other house. But this house is special. It is the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, one of America's greatest Presidents. On a plaque near that house is a record of a conversation between two Kentuckians on the day of Lincoln's birth: "Any news down 't the village, Ezry?" "Well, Squire McLain's gone t' Washington t' see Madison swore in, and ol' Spellman tells me this Bonaparte fella has captured most o' Spain. What's new out here, neighbor?" "Nuthin' nuthin' a'tall, 'cept fer a new baby born t' Tom Lincoln's. Nothin' ever happens out here."
One of the greatest Americans to ever lived came from such humble beginnings in a small town in Kentucky. What these men didn't realize was that the birth of Abraham Lincoln would forever impact the country in which they lived.
A far greater birth that was overlooked was the birth of Christ. Two common people, in a foreign town, staying in a barn, witnessed the birth of the Saviour of the world. Even Christ's earthly parents could not fathom the impact Jesus would have on the world. As they held Him that night, they held the promise God made to Adam and Eve hundred of years before.
November is almost over, and December is about to start. This is the time of the year for shopping for presents, enjoying cooler weather, and decorating for the Christmas season. It's a time of the year many people enjoy. Yet it's also a time of year many people misunderstand.
How often are Christmas carols that praise the birth of Christ sung out of joy of the season rather than out of praise to God? There's nothing wrong with enjoying the festivities of the season. Many people will decorate their houses with Christmas trees, wreaths, and even nativity scenes; but don't forget the real reason for the season. Don't forget to celebrate the birth of Christ.
That first Christmas was full of praise and singing. When the angels announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds, they filled the heavens with song and praised God's gift. What a sight it must have been!
Just as the angels praised God for His Son, so we should make sure we take time to praise God for the birth of His Son. This season is about more than presents and family; it's more than snow and snowmen; it's more than hot chocolate and warm fires. This season is all about giving thanks-thanking God for sending His Son to earth to be our Saviour.
This season as you decorate your home, take time to think of the birth of Christ. Take time to thank God for sending His Son. Make this time a teaching moment for your children and focus their eyes on the Saviour. As a family, remember that Christmas is all about God's gift of a Saviour to take away the sins of the world. Thank Him for His wonderful gift.
Daily Bible Reading: Ezekiel 35-36 II Peter 1