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 his 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 room for them in the inn. 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 of great joy that will be for all the people.
Love is Never an Afterthought
Look back at the last few weeks: How much time did you spend preparing for the Christmas season as you meticulously put decorations up, planned or attended parties, and baked cookies? Or, are you the type that doesn’t go “Christmas crazy?” So, you only set up a little tree with a few decorations to celebrate quietly with your family. Besides, the less you put up the less you have to take down later, right?
How did God prepare for that first Christmas? He moved nations around using Caesar’s decree to get everyone to just the right place. He cared for and protected Mary—the mother of our Lord. And when it was just the right time, his angels announced Jesus’ birth in a grand and glorious way! God carefully crafted every detail in order to bring you the perfect Christmas. The message for a perfect Christmas is this: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy!”
The gift of Jesus was well planned. A God who puts that much planning into giving you the perfect Christmas gift is a God who absolutely loves you!
Heavenly Father, you always have me on your heart and mind the same way you carefully planned and prepared the first Christmas. Open my eyes to see your love for me in the details of my life. Amen.
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