Key Verse: John 14:27
Have you found yourself frazzled the past few weeks? Stretched absolutely to the breaking point? Credit cards maxed out buying those “perfect gifts” for everyone on your list? I pray that each and every one of you finds absolute peace tonight. Christmas Eve; the night when we anticipate the celebration of the birth of Jesus. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~John 14:27, NIV
Let that verse speak to you along with this one: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, ESV). Christmas can be such a trying time. We can get so caught up in the commercialism and “keeping up with the Joneses” that we lose sight of why we’re doing it at all. Then we are so exhausted and spent that Christmas itself is a letdown. I just wanted to remind you to slow down in these last few hours and take the time with your family to reflect on the reason for our celebrations, and be at peace.
Thank you, God, for sending Your only Son to serve as a sacrifice for us. We honor and praise Your Holy Name, AMEN.
And now, who better to tell the Christmas Story than Luke? The Birth of Jesus.
Luke Chapter 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.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 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.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
A Sister in Christ,