In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So 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. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2:1-20)
This is the moment the world has been waiting for! The fulfillment of God’s most wonderful promise. The coming of the Savior who will right all wrongs and reclaim God’s world from the clutches of loss, evil, death.
This is what Christmas is all about. It’s about the dawning of a new age. The long and arduous days of waiting and anticipation are over. The promised one has come. Let us all rejoice!
As we reflect on the significance of this baby who was born in a manger many, many years ago, let us not gloss over the beauty of it. This baby is God himself! He is Immanuel—God with us. He is the very essence of God’s amazing grace and compassion embodied in human form. This little baby is the single greatest act of humility, surrender, love, and devotion the world will ever know.
So, take some time today to slowly read and meditate on the story of Immanuel’s birth in Luke 2. Let the wonder of it wash over you. Fall in love with God and with His beautiful Son. Consider how this baby changes everything for you—your relationships, your work, your worship, your desires. In these moments, make an offering to this sweet baby. Offer him your life—all of it. And, in return, find that the life he gives you back is far more incredible than anything you could ever imagine on your own.