Thursday, December 25, 2014

The People of Christmas

Mary and Joseph
We think of Mary, who endured gossip and scorn once word spread that she was pregnant with a child not belonging to her fiancĂ©. We think of Joseph, who in faith obeyed God’s will to care for Mary, and raise the promised Child who was to “save His people from their sins.” The couple was so poor that they had to sacrifice two doves because they could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24), yet in their arms they held the Lamb of God.
~ Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Matthew 1:18-21

The Magi
We think of the Magi, the mysterious visitors from the east who saw a sign that indicated that the Savior had been born. We call them wise, not because they knew Christ had come, but because they sought Him out to worship Him.
~ When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.   When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.  Matthew 2:9-11

The Shepherds
We think of the shepherds, people of low standing in the eyes of the world, yet so precious to God that He sent angels to personally bring them “good tidings of great joy”, and to invite them to come to worship Christ.
~ And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  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.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, 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 praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  Luke 2:8-14

The Angels
Finally we think of the angels (not people). The perspective they had was the most unique because they saw the glory that Christ willingly set aside to save us from our sin. (Philippians 2:5-8)  1 Peter 1:12 tells us that angels desire to look into the gospel. They must marvel at how seriously God takes sin is and wonder at the love He has for us to make this unimaginable sacrifice.
~ Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.  Luke 15:10

This Christmas we give thanks for these people. From them we learn that whether we’re struggling with attacks from the world like Mary and Joseph, or we’re wise and respected like the Magi, or we’re cast aside and forgotten like the shepherds, the good tidings of great joy found in the birth of Christ is for all people.

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