Monday, November 25, 2013

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST: Luke 2:1-20

DAY 25: THE BIRTH OF CHRIST    

Link: Luke 2:1-20   


Here is my audio of this story: JESUS IS BORN! 

Symbol: Jesus


JOY TO THE WORLD! THE LORD IS COME!! Our Jesse Tree culminates in the birth of Jesus Christ. The world has waited and now received a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father and the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) . . . a Savior, Redeemer, Brother, and Friend all wrapped up in a baby boy.

WELCOME JESUS, King of the universe and King of our hearts! Overwhelm us with Your coming and Your presence, so that we may never be the same!

PRAISE THE LORD!                   

Songs: "Away in a Manger" & "What Child is This?"

Put the Circle with the Cross symbol on the top and enjoy Jesus! Make a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!


BBC BACKGROUND: LUKE 2

Jesus is born in Bethlehem (2:1-7)


Caesar Augustus was ruler of the Roman Empire between 27 B.C. to A.D. 14. God used a secular ruler to fulfill the prophecy of Micah 5:2. In the Roman Empire the census was taken every fourteen years for military and tax purposes. Joseph ancestral home was Bethlehem. Joseph was a descendant of David (1:27) who was born in Bethlehem. So they needed to go from Nazareth to Bethlehem (means "house of bread").  Usually it was just the Jewish male, but he traveled with Mary because she was so near to delivering her baby. Tradition tells us that Jesus was born in a cave near the inn. He was wrapped in strips of cloth which was a practice at that time for keeping limbs straight and protected. 


Shepherds visit Jesus (2:8-20)


How wonderful that angels would appear to poor, outcast shepherds.  Their work made them ceremonially unclean.  God calls the poor and lowly to Himself (Luke 1:51-53; 1 Cor.. 1:26-29). This baby was also the Good Shepherd (John 10) and Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). 

Stomer-adorationThe shepherds were to "fear not" (Where have you heard that before over the last few days? Luke 1:13, 30, 74; Matt. 1:20). The angel pronounced GOOD NEWS of a great JOY of a Savior who is Christ the Lord! 

Then a multitude of angels came praising God and announcing PEACE. Even though the Roman Peace ("Pax Romana") had been in effect since 27 B.C., there was really no peace. 
The Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, (A.D. 55 - A.D. 135) once said:
While the emperor may give peace from war on land and sea, he is unable to give peace from passion, grief, and envy. He cannot give peace of heart for which man yearns more than even for outward peace.  
(The Bible Exposition Commentary: Volume 1, p. 176) 
The Hebrew word for peace, Shalom, that is translated as eirḗnē in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament), "has to denote, not merely rest, but a state of well-being or wholeness [emphasis mine], so that one can even be said to die in peace (as distinct from suffering violence). Nor is this well-being restricted to material welfare" (Theological dictionary of the New Testament, p. 208). 

Let this all wash over you and soak in deeply. It is so easy to just gloss over this because you hear this so many times during Christmas. Jesus is our Peace! It is amazing!


REFLECTION/APPLICATION/PRAYER


You probably know by now that I am a "Messiah nerd." I cannot get enough of this masterpiece, and I sing it almost daily. It is ALL Scripture!  So, here is the part of the oratorio that covers these verses in Luke. Use it as your prayer for today! And join us for a trip through the entire Messiah starting on December 1!

Recitative (Soprano)


There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. (Luke 2:8)


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. (Luke 2:9)



Recitative (Soprano)


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. (Luke 2:10,11)

Recitative (Soprano)


And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, (Luke 2:13)


Chorus


Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14)


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