Devotional: It’s Christmas

IMG_1772 (2)The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”

When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son. And he named Him Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25 HCSB)


My church does a big Christmas production every year. This year it is called “End of the Beginning” and for the first time in the church’s history, Christmas Spectacular 2015 was live streamed. It has been archived, so if you would like to watch it click here. I don’t know how long it will be active and, if you chose to watch it, I hope you enjoy it. We were told it was the best ever. FYI, don’t get upset if it looks like we are advertising a campaign for someone running for office. It’s a part of the production and not a real campaign.

The books of Matthew and Luke tell the story of the birth of Jesus. It’s the reason why we have Christmas; to remember that God sent His Son to earth to bridge the gap between God and man. The story doesn’t stop with the birth of Jesus. He grew to be a man, wise beyond His years. But, of course, He was wise. He was God. He knew, as time passed, what must be done. He knew the path He had to take. The path to the cross and death. But, the story doesn’t end there because He came back from the dead three days later.

No, the story continues and has yet to end. This is something to consider, because He promised to come back. And He always keeps His promise. Where will you be when He returns? I hope to be doing the work He has given me to do for Him.

Father God, thank you for sending your son as a little baby. I’m sorry that he suffered and died for me, but I am thankful and grateful that he did. Thank you for bridging the gap, for coming down to me, for making it possible for me to reach you.

The virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.” Matthew 1:23 Tweet This.

It is the End of the Beginning, the story continues and has yet to end. Tweet This.

A Christmas Play

I love Christmas. For as long as I can remember, I have been apart of the Christmas program at church. I don’t have a big part and I don’t want one, but I sing with the rest of the choir. I enjoy it every year. It makes for good fellowship, good moods and gets me ready for the Christmas season.

In “The Search”, the story goes through the Christmas season. I couldn’t resist putting something in about Christmas and the real reason we celebrate the holiday. Please enjoy this excerpt:

“Today,” Mr. Ward, the town’s clergyman, spoke to the congregation after they had sung a couple of songs, “we have a special treat. Now, I knew this is not normally done. But since, Christmas is just a few weeks away I decided to put together a little skit on the birth of Christ. If you want to follow along with the narrator you can find the passage in the second chapter of Luke. Keep in mind that we are not professionals. I’m hope you will enjoy it.”

Hearing a commotion in the back of the church some of the members turned to see what it was. Coming down the center aisle was a boy of about twelve wearing a biblical costume. He was leading a donkey while a girl of about ten, also wearing a costume, pretending to be pregnant. She rode on the back of a real donkey. In the front of the Church one of the elders began to narrate the story.

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the entire world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David. To be taxed with Mary his espouse wife, being great with child.”

When the boy Joseph and girl Mary reached the front of the church, Joseph helped Mary down from the donkey. Joseph walked to the side door of the Church and knocked. Mr. Ward opened it from the other side and after a second began to shake his head. Joseph and Mary walked over to where the piano stood and Joseph pretended to knock on another door. A lady pretended to open a door and after a second shook her head as well.

The narration continued, “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

The lady at the door then pointed to a place where a chair and manger sat and the two young people walked to it and Mary sat down. Young Mary reached over and placed a doll in the manger, behind them stood two sheep and a star hung from the ceiling.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” A group of little boys came in through the side door dressed as shepherds carrying sticks. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.”

A little girl dressed as an angel stood up on the front pew. Most of the boys pretended to be afraid, but one little boy pretended to throw some punches like a boxer. Seeing it, the little girl scolded at him and moved away from the boys, while her mother tried to make sure she didn’t fall.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.’” The boys stopped pretending to be afraid. “‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’”

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host,” more girls dressed in angel costumes stood with the one girl, “praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”

Then all the little girls jumped down from the pew and went to sit with their parents. “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.’”

The boys moved over to where Mary and Joseph sat. “And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

The little shepherd boys began walking down the aisles to the back of the church. As they went they told those seated in the pews, “A Savior is born.”

Mr. Ward returned to the front of the church, “A Savior has indeed been born. The Savior is a result of a Heavenly Father who loves us. He gave us His most precious thing. I think of my own children and even my grandchildren. Am I willing to give them up, to put them in a position that may end their life in order to save many? Could you? That is what our Heavenly Father did. Thankfully God has the power over death and Jesus was brought back to life in three days. Today we can make Jesus our Savior. We can ask him to forgive us and invite his Spirit to live within us. When we do that we will live forever with Him in heaven. If you have not made that decision yet don’t leave before you do. If you are a believer, are you filled with excitement and joy over the Savior’s birth? The shepherds were. They were so excited they went out telling everyone they saw about the Savior’s birth. When is the last time you told someone about the birth of Jesus and the reason He came? I want to challenge you to look at the people around you and tell them that a Savior has been born.”

The birth of Jesus is one of my favorite stories, so I hope you didn’t find this to “preachy.” Leave a comment to tell me if you did or didn’t.

Merry Christmas!