Glory to God in the Highest!

24 December 2010


1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 4And 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:)
 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
 7And 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.
 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12"And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

This record of the birth of Jesus as written by Luke is by far my favorite version. There is more depth in the old time language used in the in the King James version, a depth that doesn't seem as present in the NIV or the NLT. The words seem to leap off of the page--"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the LORD."


Unto US. The Father gave His only Son, to be born as a baby and killed on the cross only thirty-two years later, for US. That's how much He loves us. We are sinners; we steal; we cheat; we lie; we're disrespectful to our parents. And it was for that reason that God knew, without His Son, we could not have eternal life.

We are entirely undeserving of eternal life. We all deserve to be separated from God. But because of Jesus, we can have a close relationship with the LORD, and we can live forever with Him. 

It almost brings tears to my eyes when I think of the sacrifices the LORD made for us. We, who are broken, weary, tired, and weak can find eternal strength in Him, because of what He gave. And yet, when Christmas rolls around every year, all we can think of are what presents we hope to receive, Christmas music, decorations, and all that. We lose sight so often of the true meaning of Christmas. 

I realize that what I'm saying may sound unoriginal and certainly very hard to follow.  "Yes, yes, I get it," you say. "I shouldn't get distracted by all the "extras," and I should focus more on the LORD. But it's so hard! What do I DO?"

I suggest you search your Bible for verses dealing with the birth of Jesus, trying to glean what you can. Read a little each day leading up to December 25th, preparing your heart for the coming of Jesus.

I have found that this year, my outlook on Christmas has changed. I am still excited for Christmas morning, and I'm looking forward to what I might find under the tree. But the real thing that brings me to tears and stirs my heart is thinking about the sacrifice He gave for us. When I read of Jesus' birth straight from His Word, when I listen to songs like "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" or "The First Noel" I am amazed, simply amazed at the power of the LORD. It's like I'm learning all of these things for the first time. "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" don't stir me in this way.

This Christmas, try setting Jesus on your heart, and not just saying He is the best part of Christmas--realizing that He really is

10And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12"And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

3 epistles:

  1. Merry Christmas, sweet gal! Hope your family has a blessed celebration!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope you had a great Christmas! :)

    Katie

    ReplyDelete

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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