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In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (Luke 2:1-8)
(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
Do You Hear What I Hear?
12/25 - Bethlehem, Israel -
The night has been calm, as has been the general spirit of the community. Caesar's unfortunate tax has brought an amazing influx of visitors, but generally speaking the day seemed as if it would continue as normal.
However, just a few hours ago, we received word that a young woman (supposedly a virgin), has struggled through the final stages of delivery. Strangely enough, her fiancée remained by her side (even though it appears she was pregnant out of wedlock), and a baby boy has been brought into this world in the surroundings of a stable.
Obviously there have been many births this night, so why single this one out above the rest?
Evidently because we have received the report that this particular child is allegedly the incarnation of God Himself! Sources say that this birth is the fulfillment of prophecies given centuries previous concerning a Messiah (or Savior) to the world. Strangely enough, rumor has it that this child is none other than "Immanuel" - God with us. According to tradition, this "Messiah" will bring redemption to all to those who have eyes to see and a heart to believe.
In a related story, a group of ordinary shepherds claimed that during a normal evening of tending sheep in the hills of Judea, an amazing event occurred. The shepherds insist that in the midst of the darkness, a piercing light broke through, and the voice of an angel delivered the news of a miraculous birth- none other than the birth of the Messiah. The shepherds then reported that following the news of the birth, an inconceivable chorus of hundreds, perhaps thousands of angels proclaimed the message of peace on earth.
Although these breaking reports seem impossible, all the facts related to this point have checked out. If indeed this was the night that the true Savior was born, then nothing in life should ever be the same. In fact, the coming of the Savior should very well be the center of one's universe, and the guiding principle for all of life's decisions. That is, of course, if we are to believe that these accounts are true. I suppose only time will tell. If all this is a hoax, then the history of these events will be looked upon as a joke. But if they are true, then consider what impact they must have upon your life and destiny.
Write a letter to Jesus thanking Him for leaving His heavenly home and coming to earth to save us. Place the letter underneath the tree and read it on Christmas Eve to your family.
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