The Birth of Christ
Caesar Augustus ordered a census, a numbering of people for tax purpose. Joseph was of the house of David, so he was required to go to Bethlehem to register. Mary was about ready to deliver so he decided to take Mary along. Being 9 months along meant extra time and care was needed to travel. But having Mary go to Bethlehem was God’s plan. It was God’s plan that the baby be born in Bethlehem. Look what the Prophet Micah wrote:
“Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem … a small village … Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.”
Joseph acquired a donkey for Mary to travel on and off they went. When they arrived all the boarding rooms were filled up. There was no rooms available, no guest room so “no room in the Inn”. Everyone could see Mary was pregnant and about ready to give birth. Jewish culture was very hospitable, especially for pregnant women so they faced a dilemma. They did not have a boarding room, but they offered what they did have, space in area where they kept their animals, a stable. But this too was part of God’s plan.
The trip to Bethlehem was helpful in inducing birth for that very night, Mary delivered a healthy baby boy just as the Angel had said. We do not have any record that anyone came to be of help to this family. We do not have any record that anyone from the town came out visit them or to congratulate them. No one but the Shepherds who were out watching their sheep. The Shepherds whom the Angel had shared with and declared that the birth of this baby was a God thing and this was something worth while for them to go and see, something for them to go and be a witness of.
Luke 2:15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
Luke 2:16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,
They “hurried off”, they “left running” as fast as they could to see this child. After visiting with the family, Mary and Joseph and seeing this beautiful baby, they went and shared this information with everyone they could, everyone they saw. As people listened, they were astonished, they were wowed. God was on the move.
After 8 days, Joseph and Mary named this gift of God, this child, Jesus just as the Angel had told them..
God has called us to come, to come and see. God has called us to come and follow Him. God has called us to abandon ourselves and follow Him to come learn from Him. God has called us to make Him 1st, our 1st priority in life, to obey His commands and worship Him and Him alone. God has called us to be His witnesses, to share with everyone we meet our testimony of what we know about God, what we know to be true.
My hope and prayer for you this Christmas is that you will allow God to inter in your heart, to inter in your life and to begin transforming you. My hope is that you will be like the Shepherds, filled with that same with excitement and enthusiasm in wanting to meet with Jesus. My hope is that Journey Church will not be just place of a religious activity for you, but a place to where you love to come and meet with Jesus, a place that you “hurry off to”, a place that you “come running to”, come running to with excitement and enthusiasm to spend time with Jesus, to spend time with your brothers and sisters in the Lord in fellowship, in prayer, in sharing and learning and in worship of God.