The Christmas holidays are often approached like a war to be waged. Many times those who pass through the hectic holidays feel more like the conquered than the conqueror.
What Can We Do to Prepare for Christmas? vv. 1-7
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So 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. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
1. Focus on Christ . Isaiah 26:3-4
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. 4Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.
2. Focus on His promises . Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
3. Focus on His peace . Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
4. Focus on His power .
How Should We Celebrate Christmas? vv. 8-16
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, ADo not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14AGlory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ALet’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
1. We can celebrate by telling others . v. 17
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
2. We can celebrate by reflecting joy . vv. 18-19
and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
3. We can celebrate by offering praise . v. 20
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray.
Cast out our sin, and enter in;
Be born in us today.
– Phillips Brooks