“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” (Matthew 1:22-23)
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8)
Christmas Day is a time of great celebration. Some of us will open presents. Some of us will gather with family or friends to share a meal. Some of us will enjoy certain annual traditions with those we love. Some of us will remember those no longer with us, feeling both the sadness of loss but also the depth of meaningful memories.
Regardless of what fills our day, Christmas puts into sharp focus the greatness of God’s gift to us in Jesus becoming incarnate by the Holy Spirit’s power working in the Virgin Mary. From start to finish, Jesus’ story is one of God’s life given so that we might have life. Jesus enters our world as a baby who will grow into a man destined to save all humanity. His infancy is humble in a variety of ways: coming from glory to earth, born to ordinary parents with little reputation, growing up outside the centers of power, and more. So, too, Jesus’ adult life embraces the humility as he is misunderstood as Messiah, lives dependent upon others’ financial supply, and ultimately in a sacrificial death for our salvation.
His life for our life. This gift is beyond measure. May we celebrate Jesus as we enter into this Christmas Day.
For Personal Reflection: As you reflect back on your time spent in this devotional, which of the aspects of Jesus’ coming that we’ve discussed (His Suffering Brings Peace, His Glory Brings Joy, His Healing by Faith or His Resurrection Brings Hope) is the greatest gift that God has given you this year? What is the “Reason for the Season” you most needed to be reminded of this year?
✧ Nativity Building: Place the shepherds near the stable. The angel told them that the Savior had been born! They believed, and there were the first to see Jesus and to tell others about Him!
by Matt Erickson