FILLING IN THE BLANKS
Father, on this day after Christmas as the year winds down, I thank you for your many blessings this year.
Read LUKE 2:1-7
The Birth of Jesus
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 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. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 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 2:2 Or This census took place before
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink about nativity plays you have seen over the years. Perhaps you’ve had more than a few giggles. Thank God for all the wonderful ways we can express ‘His Story’.
My husband Norman enjoys adult coloring books. Sometimes I see him sit back in his chair to consider what he has done and decide where he is going next. The colors used will transform a bare outline into a beautiful whole.
In this account, I feel Luke is giving us the bare outline of the Christmas story. It will be colored in in so many different ways down the centuries, but will never be less than glorious. Today it gives us the opportunity to take stock. The basic words are good for us because we can take our time reading them and fill in the gaps with our own imagination. Perhaps we need this very matter-of-fact account to get things straight in our minds, to separate rosy glow from hard fact.
Let’s reflect that our lives are an outline to be colored in. Sometimes we have more control than others over the colors used. This innocent baby himself will be subjected to very dark times. But once the dark colors blend with light and brightness, full glory will be revealed.
Look at your Christmas cards and thank God that however irrelevant some of them might seem to the true meaning of the season, they are all somebody’s gift to you. Pray for people who don’t yet know the love of Jesus.
Dear God, thank you for drawing near to this world in Christ Jesus. He who was rich became poor for my sake. Hallelujah!
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