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Read Luke 1:26-38.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city
of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose
name was Joseph,of the house of David.... Luke 1:26-27A

Our Nativity scene has a shelter and a manger. Now it's time to
start adding the figures. My Nativity figures have a special
meaning for me because my dad hand painted each of them a
few years before he left us to go to his eternal home. He took
great care painting the faces of baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
the shepherds, the wise men and the angel. Now, because of his
faith in Jesus Christ his Savior, Dad has spent 22 years looking
at those same glorious faces in his heavenly home.

As we begin placing the figures into the Nativity scene let's take
some time to examine each one. It is interesting that a shelter
and manger stand ready in Bethlehem for that special night. But
look as hard as you want, you can't find the virgin mother in that
little town just south of Jerusalem. You have to travel 70 miles
north to the region of Galilee and to a town called Nazareth. That's
where a young virgin lives. That's where God sends His angel

Look closely at the virgin and the clothes she wears. It is obvious
this young woman has no claims to fame. Her family is not wealthy,
powerful, or influential. Her betrothed husband is a carpenter who
has no claim to fame either except, perhaps, that both he and his
virgin wife are descendants of King David. God could have selected
any virgin girl to be the mother of His Son, but He specifically
chose this young woman.

You and I are also unlikely people God has chosen. So often we
are self-absorbed and concerned about all the wrong things-problems
that in the end don't pile up to a hill of beans. These days before
Christmas we usually focus on the least significant things, and we
display our irritation and impatience to our families, co-workers, and
everyone we encounter who is standing in our way. Now is the time
to slow down and follow the story of our Savior's birth.

The angel explains to Mary that she will be the mother of God's Son
through the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. He will be a holy
Child, whose Father is God. Being human He will be able to suffer
and die in our place. And being God's Son, He will be able to win
salvation for all people by His suffering and death on the cross, and
He will be able to stomp death into the dust.

This Christmas we would do well to learn from Mary's humility and
simple trust. "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me
according to your word. ..." (Luke 1:38a). When we approach
Christmas with that same trusting response, we will enjoy a more
profound and joyous celebration of our Savior's birth.


Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing an unknown virgin to be
the mother of Your Son. Give me true humility that I may live as
Your child and live with You in Your heavenly home forever. I pray
this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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