The Birth of Christ and the Events Following

                To pick up where I left off on the last left off, we have Joseph and Mary arriving at the town of Bethlehem. They are looking for a place to stay and all of the inns are full. They finally come to an inn where the proprietor allows them to stay in the barn in the back. Now Mary’s time has come for her to have her child. Jesus is delivered and they wrap him in swaddling cloth and the only place they can lay him is in a manger. I would like to take a minute to talk about the conditions Mary, Joseph, and now the baby Jesus are living in. They are in a barn meant for keeping livestock. I have been in a barn, I can’t say I have stayed in one, but I will say that it is not the most pleasant smelling of places if you have non-human residents. To focus on the manger, this is not typically used to lay newborn children. This is a feeding trough for the animal residents of the barn. Once again, livestock feed isn’t the most pleasant substance if left out and allowed to rot. This is what our Lord and Savior was sleeping in. God chose to come into the world like this, not born in a palace in a solid gold crib and raised to be earthly royal. God chose to come from the humblest of beginnings to be a servant to all, culminating in Him giving himself on the cross.
                Now then, we have the birth of Christ, and God choses two groups of people to make known of his birth. These are the shepherds tending their flock and the three wise men that we sing of in some of our Christmas songs. God sends a chorus of angels to the shepherds in the field. The shepherds are naturally afraid but the angels told them to not be afraid because the Messiah has been born. They told them that their sign would be a child wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger. The shepherds then went and visited the new born king, and left glorifying and praising God. The three wise men were led to Jerusalem after being led there by a guiding star. They inquired of King Herod “Where is He that is born king of the Jews?” Herod did not know, but found the prophecy through his scribes and priests. Herod then informed the wise men of the prophesied location. The three men went forth and found Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and presented them with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. After celebrating with them, the men departed for home after being warned in a dream of Herod’s intentions. Once Herod found out of this, he decided to purge the town of Bethlehem of every young boy under the age of two years old. Now the story would have ended here, but an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and warned Joseph and Mary to flee to Nazareth. This allowed the young family to escape Herod’s plans, but also to fulfill a prophecy about Jesus “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

                Now then this is the conclusion of the classical Christmas story. For the most part this information was taken from scripture, with commentary provided by me or remembered from conversations with friends and family. I hope that we take the time to remember the birth of the Messiah this week as we hopefully spend time with friends and family. I say hopefully because I know there are people who have to spend Christmas away from what they hold dear. I pray that God provides these people peace and lets them feel the love of their friends and family from a distance. May God bless you and have a good rest of your day. 

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