None of what happened in the birth story of Baby Jesus was coincidental.  This was a God-orchestrated event that fulfilled the prophesies God had given centuries before through men like Isaiah and Micah.

Everything that happened, from the time the census was ordered, to everyone returning to their own city to be registered, to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem - all of it was orchestrated by God.  And out of tiny Bethlehem, came the Messiah.

We celebrate this as the beginning of something incredible.  Jesus, the Christ, left His throne in glory and took on human form just to reconcile us to our Father.  He came into the world, miraculously conceived, and yet born as we all are.  He was a baby, a toddler, then a young boy who became a man.  Jesus experienced humanity at all levels; He truly can identify with all people at all stages of life.

That very first Christmas, God gave the greatest gift ever - His Son.  And His Son gave the gift of His life - which was why He came.  Because of that, we all can have a relationship with God as His children, sons and daughters of the Creator of all, through Jesus Christ.

So this Christmas, let’s remind ourselves of the true Christmas story - the one that led to the true Easter story.  Together, let’s give thanks and praise to God, who orchestrated all of it, and changed our lives forever.  No matter how secular the world becomes (remembering it always has been), no matter how our culture tries its best to disregard the truth of Christmas, it is up to you and me to tell our own part of the world about God’s love that became apparent and became human in that little Baby Jesus.

Merry (and blessed) Christmas!


ps. I’ve just got to add this to what I’ve written.  Yes, you know the story of Christmas.  We all do.  I’ve preached 26 Advent seasons on the same subject.  Let’s not get caught up in the notion that nothing new is going to happen this year, that we have simply lived through enough Christmases that we’ve got it down pat.  NO!  Let’s come to this ancient story with the anticipation and awe that drops us on our knees in wonder (and delight) that God loves each of us with a love that winds its way through all of history, full of prophecy that was finally revealed in Bethlehem, and ultimately in each of our own hearts. If our December is filled with food and cards and shopping and parties, we are missing the point.  Could we, all of us, decide together, as the song says, “Come and see the glory of the Lord.  Come behold the Lamb.”