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Read Luke 2:8-20.
The shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem
and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made
known to us." Luke 2:15B

Do you enjoy a large gathering on Christmas Day? Or are you
isolated this year by work, finances, weather, or for some other
reason? You are not alone. It is certainly possible that Mary and
Joseph came into the first Christmas feeling the same way,
huddled together and all alone with their newborn baby.

God didn't leave them alone

for long. When He sent an angel with the first Christmas invitation
He didn't choose a mighty emperor or king, prominent priests or
Levites, or even wealthy, powerful people. Instead He sent His
angel to poor shepherds watching over their flock at night. The
angel told them the exceedingly good news that God had kept
His promise-a Savior had been born! Because Jesus would take
their sins and pay the full price we all owe God, they could leave
their flocks and hurry into the presence of their God and King.

Suddenly the sky was filled with a multitude of angels praising
God. The overjoyed shepherds said to one another, "Let us go
over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which
the Lord has made known to us." And they hurried and found
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. And so began the first Christmas

Can you imagine the joy Mary and Joseph felt when this
unexpected company arrived? We continue this wonderful
tradition by hurrying from our homes to "go over to Bethlehem"
and gathering together with our Christian brothers and sisters in
church to "see this thing that has happened."

On this day as you gather with family, friends, and your
Christian brothers and sisters at church, don't forget your eternal
home where Jesus no longer lays in a manger, but sits on His
royal throne at the Father's right hand. Mary and Joseph no
longer wear their poor clothing but shine in the glorious
righteousness of Jesus with which they are robed in paradise.
The shepherds are before the throne of God, worshiping the Son
of God who saved them from their sins.

And if there is an empty spot at your Christmas gathering
because a loved one has left this world in faith, then take heart.
Like the shepherds, they have gone to see this thing that has
taken place, which the Lord had told them about. One day you
and I will gather with them because God's Son became human,
took our sins upon Himself, and died in our place on the cross.
Through His glorious resurrection He has guaranteed we will rise
again and live with Him forever in paradise.


Almighty God, thank You for this wonderful day in which our
Savior was born. As we gather at church and in our homes, fill
 us with joy. And like the shepherds may we return, glorifying
and praising You as we share with our family, friends, and
neighbors all that we have heard and seen, just as You told us.
Then, in Your perfect timing, bring us to Your eternal gathering
in our heavenly home. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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