Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Today is the twenty-fourth day of Advent. It is Christmas Day.  Our special word for today is "together." 

You will not see that particular word stand out in the Christmas story, yet it is in the background of the story and makes up the very foundation of what Christmas is all about.  Luke gives us what has become the most familiar part of the story.  The other part is found in Matthew, which tells us about the coming of the Magi and of Herod and his jealousy.  Read the following Scripture slowly and let it's message sink in.  Think about every detail of this special historic event.

Luke 2 At that time, Augustus Caesar sent an order that all people in the countries under Roman rule must list their names in a register. 2 This was the first registration; it was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to their own towns to be registered.

4 So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. 5 Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was now pregnant. 6 While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, 7 and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.
8 That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. 11 Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. 12 This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”

13 Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying:

14 “Give glory to God in heaven,
and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.”

15 When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a feeding trough. 17 When they had seen him, they told what the angels had said about this child. 18 Everyone was amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured these things and continued to think about them. 20 Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything they had seen and heard. It had been just as the angel had told them.(NCV)

By the word "together" we are talking about "unity."  There was the unity of the God-head.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were unified as one in the bringing of the Christmas event to pass.  God, of course is one.  Mary and Joseph were together as they obeyed the instructions of the Lord as detailed by the angels.  The shepherd's were together as they heard the message from the angels and as they traveled to Bethlehem to see first hand this special happening.  The angels were together as they announced the birth of Christ and as they praised the God of heaven.  The Wise men were together as they traveled hundreds of miles following a special star to the place were Jesus lay.  The priest Simeon and the prophetess Anna were together in their recognition of the special nature and mission of the Christ child. 

The purpose of God coming into the world was to bring mankind, one at a time, to God through His Son Jesus the Christ.  The Christmas event calls out for togetherness between family members, between relatives and friends.  It cries out for a unity within the family of God, the church.  Christmas speaks of unity between races, and nations.

A story is told about a particular battle being fought during the American Civil War.  It was Christmas day.  During a brief lull in the fighting a soldier from one of the apposing camps walked a few yards out into the open territory between the two armies and began to sing the Christmas carol, "Silent Night."  For the rest of the day the instruments of war were laid down and the soldiers celebrated Christmas.  That kind of experience should be the rule rather than the exception.  But unity cannot be truly experienced until we know the unifier in a personal way.  No, it will not happen in a world-wide way this side of the second coming of Christ.  But one day Jesus will come again, not as a baby, but as a conquering king.  It is then that mankind will beat his instruments of war and death into instruments of peace and unity.

My challenge is that today as families and friends gather, let us strive to be "together," to be in unity with Christ and with one another.  May the following prayer of Jesus soon be fulfilled.  It is part of the "High Priestly Prayer of Jesus."

John 17:20 “I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for all those who will believe in me because of their teaching. 21 Father, I pray that they can be one. As you are in me and I am in you, I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me. 22 I have given these people the glory that you gave me so that they can be one, just as you and I are one. 23 I will be in them and you will be in me so that they will be completely one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you loved them just as much as you loved me.(NCV)


1 comment:

Angie said...

I've loved reading your 'Advent' posts!
Always gives you something to think about through the day.
Can't wait to see what's next!