Jun 18

Rev Gav

Trough

Luke 2:15-16. Our status as God’s children does not come from what we own, where we live, who our parents are, what job we do, or whatever society or our government tells us we are. It comes from God alone.

Luke 2:15-16

The Birth of Jesus

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

The Shepherds and Angels

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple

21 Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.

Reflect

The angels appeared to the shepherds and they were told to go and find this baby king lying in a feeding trough. The feeding trough, or manger, is mentioned three times by Luke. It was a sign for the shepherds that they had got the right baby — the one who they had been told was the Saviour and Lord of the world — and there was only one baby born that night who was lying in a feeding trough!

However, the feeding trough was not just a sign to the shepherds. It was part of a bigger sign. Jesus was born to an unmarried teenager in the dead of night; born into darkness; born into an occupied territory with brutal soldiers, corrupt politicians, religious elitists, and acute poverty; born into a tired feeding trough away from a loving tender community and away from a warm, snug home; born an outsider.

The status of Jesus as king did not come from his surroundings, his possessions, accommodation, parent-hood, sociology, or politics. It came from who God said he was. And it is the same for us too. Our status as God’s children does not come from what we own, where we live, who our parents are, what job we do, or whatever society or our government tells us we are. It comes from what God says about us — that we are God’s children, wanted, loved, and cherished.

Do

Today, allow God to remind you how he sees you. Accept that you are his beloved child.

Pray

Holy God
Thank you that my status as your child
doesn’t depend on me or on anyone else;
Help it sink in that you love me,
and want the best for me.
This day and for ever.
Amen.

Think

What does the birth of Jesus and the feeding trough tell us about the heart and character of God?

How does God define status?

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