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Episode 105 - Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas!


“During those days, the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, ordered that the first census be taken throughout his empire. (Quirinius was the governor of Syria at that time.) Everyone had to travel to the hometown of their family to complete the mandatory census. So Joseph and his wife, Mary, left Nazareth, a village in Galilee, and journeyed to their hometown in Judea, to the village of Bethlehem, King David’s ancient home. They were required to register there, since they were both direct descendants of David. Mary was pregnant and nearly ready to give birth. When they arrived in Bethlehem, Mary went into labor, and there she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped the newborn baby in strips of cloth, and Mary and Joseph laid him in a feeding trough since there was no available space in any upper room in the village. That night, in a field near Bethlehem, shepherds were watching over their flocks. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared in radiant splendor before them, lighting up the field with the blazing glory of God, and the shepherds were terrified! But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid, for I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah. You will recognize him by this miraculous sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in the feeding trough!” Then all at once in the night sky, a vast number of glorious angels appeared, the very armies of heaven! And they all praised God, singing: “Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.” When the choir of angels disappeared and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go! Let’s hurry and find this Word who is born in Bethlehem and see for ourselves what the Lord has revealed to us.” So they hurried off and found their way to Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in a feeding trough. Upon seeing this miraculous sign, the shepherds recounted what had just happened. Everyone who heard the shepherds’ story was astonished by what they were told. But Mary treasured all these things in her heart and often pondered what they meant. The shepherds returned to their flock, ecstatic over what had happened. They praised God and glorified him for all they had heard and seen for themselves, just like the angel had said.”


Here we are in the Christmas season, and we wanted to take a breath from all of the last minute work we’re trying to get done before the end of the year and all of the preparations for family to come and remember and celebrate the true reason for all of this -- the coming to Earth of our Savior, Jesus. As the passage says, He’s Emmanuel, God with us or God became one of us. That’s how much He loved us. He left everything in Heaven behind -- His glory, His throne, His crown and He humbled Himself to become one of us, so that He could ultimately be the perfect and only sacrifice for us. Through His death on the cross and His resurrection, He brings us the gift of salvation. And that gift of salvation changes everything when we choose to receive it. He takes all of our sins, faults and regrets and exchanges them for His perfection. He takes our old dead heart and makes us brand new. Later in Luke 2 it says that Isaiah prophesied of Jesus as the Refreshing of Israel. That’s exactly what He does for every person who reaches out and says, yes Jesus, I want You to become Lord of my life. He brings refreshing. 

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