The First Christmas

The following is from “Prepare Your Hearts: Christmas Devotions,” day 10, available on YouVersion, the Bible, at ….

Your First Christmas

Christ’s first coming surprised everybody.

Zechariah was surprised. Mary and Joseph were surprised, first by the angelic announcements and surprised again at the terribly inconvenient time that Mary’s labor pains began. Third-shift shepherds were surprised by the sound and light show that they alone experienced. As they knelt at the manger and peered in at the little bundle on the straw, their worship of God would never be the same.

I guess you aren’t surprised at the coming birthday celebrations this December 25–you’ve had all year to prepare. But what you may not have expected is the satisfaction that comes from worshiping Jesus as though this were your first Christmas. There before you, wrapped in his little strips of cloth, is the ultimate paradox: God and man, Co-Creator and yet begotten, helper and helpless, frail and mighty, brand-new and ancient. There before you lies your salvation–the One who would put himself, his body, between you and death. How can you not love him?”

Do you think much about how the first Christmas came to be? Before anything else could happen, GOD had to make the momentous decision to walk away from heaven, where angels and celestial beings worshiped Him constantly. He made the choice to leave the perfect place and existence, to become human. He didn’t even come as an exalted son of a king, born into a palace, so that He could be pampered in this life. He came as the child of a poor carpenter, to be born in a stable and facing a life of physical hardships from day one. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t give up luxury to live in poverty if I had the choice….

“Though He was GOD, He did not think of equality with GOD as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to GOD and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, GOD elevated Him to the Place of Highest Honor and gave Him the Name above ALL other names, that at the Name of JESUS every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that JESUS CHRIST is LORD, to the Glory of GOD the Father.” – Philippians 2:6‭-‬11 NLT

Just as Jesus surprised everyone by the time and method of His birth, He will surprise us all when He returns, even though we have had millennium to prepare.

“…. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with Power and Great Glory… However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the SON Himself. ONLY the FATHER knows.” – Matthew 24:30‭b,36 NLT

Celebrate His birth with gratitude and thanksgiving, and spread the word that JESUS has come, and that He will return for His people…. soon. Amen.

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