Today's reading in our daily plan is Luke 2:1-21, which contains part of the story of Jesus' birth. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.
SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Jesus was born in what was basically a barn. All of the Romans had to return to their home towns to be counted in a census, and Mary and Joseph's hometown was sold out of hotel rooms (it was kind of like trying to find a hotel room on the Strip on New Year's Eve), so they found a stable that had enough room for the two of them to spend the night. That night was when Jesus was born, and Mary used a manger -- also known as a horse's feeding trough -- to serve as a makeshift crib.
- An angel appears to shepherds to announce to them the birth of God's Son, followed by God putting on an angelic concert for these shepherds.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We find a strange and amazing juxtaposition in this chapter: The Son of God enters the world as a feeble baby, born to a poor couple, in a dilapidated barn. It seems like an understated and anticlimactic way for God to bring His Son into the world. But it teaches us some important principles about God: God is humble. He's the only one who shouldn't be, but He is. And God loves to uses ordinary people (like Mary, and Joseph, and the shepherds) to accomplish extraordinary things.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- You may not feel like you're capable of doing great things for God, but the reality is that you're just the kind of person he's looking for -- all you need to do is be willing. This Christmas could mark a turning point in your relationship with God. Ask God to do something amazing with you, regardless of how ordinary or inadequate you may feel.
- Make sure you take some time on this Christmas Day to focus on the true meaning of Christmas: that God came to earth (as a human, born as a baby) to rescue you. Thank Jesus for coming for you.