2 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.) 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.
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 Saviour 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
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
* A census – following the rules - filling in the forms
* A pregnant woman – baby expected anytime
* Shepherds shepherding
* A starlit sky
* Joseph and Mary turn up in Bethlehem of all places (And thou Bethlehem……)
* The Baby is laid in a manger (just as the angels said!)
* Angel and a heavenly host appear around shepherds
* A single star announces a special birth
“Star and angels sing
Yet the earth sleeps in shadow.
Can this tiny child set the world on fire?”
(Like a candle flame – Graham Kendrick)
Memories are made of this!
The normal – the abnormal
The ordinary – the extraordinary
This is perhaps the best remembered passage of Christmas scripture because we’ve sung it
almost word-for-word in “While Shepherds watched their flocks by night…” year after year.
But not only that for me.
Picture a shy young girl of 10 attempting to recite the 23rd Psalm publicly for the first time -
and failing miserably. Picture the same girl, twelve months later, reciting this very passage,
coming first out of a large group of children, and (as a reward!) doing it again in the huge
Queens Road Baptist Church in Coventry – and doing it well!! It’s in the memory bank,
believe me! As is the huge hug and words, “Well done Gillian!” by the minister. When I was
given this passage to blog on – the memory came flooding back. The impact on a shy young
girl was enormous – although I didn’t realise it at the time. God rested His favour on me
and slowly, gradually changed that fearful heart and gave it peace, using the
encouragement of others and His own, “Fear not!”
A few verses later on in this Luke passage and we read that Mary kept all these things and
pondered them in her heart.
When the memories come flooding back – as they do with age – we are able to take them
and ponder them and discover what God has done with events and thank Him for those He
used in our lives – even the difficult ones.
So it happens that in amongst the ordinary, regular, even dutiful, happenings of life, come
spectacular sights and experiences.
In the mundane sheep-watching, stars and angels SING!
A baby is born – but He fulfils an ancient prophecy.
Words heard from out of the night-sky prove to be a fact – He IS there in a manger.
Glory is given to God
Peace fills a mother’s troubled heart.
And so it is that out of uncomfortable circumstances, hurtful experiences and dark times we
see His light shine and know His strength for ‘today’.
Can we believe it?
Peace WILL come in our own lives - and throughout the world.
Keep the faith!
Give glory to God!
MAY CHRISTMAS PROVE TO BE A REAL EXPERIENCE FOR US ALL TODAY!