So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazarethin 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
Luke 2:1-7 NIV
Two thousand years ago, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of census taking in a small town called Bethlehem, a child was born. As His cry rang out in the darkness and his mother, Mary, swaddled him pulling him close to her breast, the citizenry of Bethlehem hurried and scurried through the obligatory motions of fulfilling the decree of Caesar Augustus; come and be counted.
Shepherds in a field received a personal invitation to come and see the baby that was born in Bethlehem. An angel of the Lord and a company of the heavenly host sang out to the glory of God. The shepherds left their sheep to seek out this Lamb of God born on that night.Upon seeing the child, they left and spread the word of this baby and all that had happened. “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
Two millennia later, we have the same opportunity as the shepherds. Today, we know the full story. This baby born of a young virgin girl is the Savior. Like the shepherds we each hold a personal invitation to “come and see.” It is written in red. “For God so loved the world that he gave his One and Only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Like the heavenly host, we too can sing out to the glory of God. And like the shepherds, we have opportunity to spread the word of this baby and all that we have experienced since accepting His invitation to believe.
And like Mary, we can hold Him close to our hearts, treasuring all that He has done and compelling others to come and see.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you believe in the One and Only Son of God. He is the reason for our celebration. He is the light that shines in the darkness. He is the voice calling out in the wilderness. He is Jesus Christ the Messiah and He longs for you to know Him. Come and be counted.
© Joyce Powell