Jun 23

Rev Gav

Wonder

Luke 2:17-21. Jesus means saviour of the world, and that means he is my saviour and he is your saviour too!

Luke 2:17-21

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 shepherds visited the village of Bethlehem and found the baby in the feeding trough, just as the angels had said. So, what next? The shepherds’ response to the birth of Jesus was to talk about it and to praise God. They could not help themselves and the people they told were amazed. Mary, though, played the scene over in her mind and kept it to herself.

People respond to Jesus in different ways. For many of us, we are so familiar with the story that we have lost any sense of amazement or wonder. Or perhaps we have filed Jesus as just one teacher amongst many — nothing special — and we are indifferent to him. Or maybe we do not really know the story at all. However, if this story is true, then Jesus is far more special than we can possibly imagine. The baby king is named Jesus which means ‘saviour’. He is the saviour of the world and that makes him my saviour and it makes him your saviour too.

Do

Today, choose how you will respond to the saviour Jesus Christ coming into the world. Will your choice be amazement, wonder, quiet gratitude or indifference?

Pray

Holy God
You wanted to come into the world as a human,
to identify with us, to share with us,
and ultimately to save us.
Give me a renewed sense of wonder
at the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ
this day and for ever.
Amen.

Think

In the past, when the name ‘Jesus’ has been mentioned, what’s been your response? Given the claims made in the story, has it been the right response?

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