Luke 2:1-14: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed … And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
I know that we are all bracing for an unusual Christmas this year, knowing that there won’t be the normal gatherings, the joyful events or traditional programs that we associate with the holiday. As I was thinking about how Christmas will look different this year, I was reminded that the first Christmas was also filled with some uncomfortable challenges. Because of outside forces and government orders Mary and Joseph had to be distant from their families.
At the very special time of the birth of Mary’s baby, they were alone, not in the traditional setting, no immediate support from their loved ones but in a less than ideal situation and isolated from all that was familiar. However, God was doing something wonderful. In the midst of chaos not only was a baby born but as the angels announced, the Saviour was come to bring glory to God and peace to us on earth.
This will likely be an unusual Christmas for you, but may you know the peace and salvation only Christ can bring this Christmas.