Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I do not have a memory of Christmas that did not include the reading of Luke 2 on Christmas Eve. Whether it was the beautiful voice of my great-grandfather, the younger voice of my uncle, the familiar sound of my father or my own husband, the story has been read aloud to me for 36 years. It's probably my favorite part of Christmas.

As I listen to the words read lovingly by Christian men, I let my mind wander to the first night in Bethlehem. I imagine the feel of the swaddling clothes under my fingers and the look of amazement on the faces of the shepherds. My mind wanders back through the years of Christmases past, as we gathered each year to reverently pay homage to the Child King in our hearts. Not just family, but a group of like-minded Christians praising the Lord Most High for loving us in spite of our depravity.

Merry Christmas everyone, and I hope that when you hear the story tonight you will hide the words in your heart...

1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Glory in the Highest
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And behold, n angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.


luvmy4sons said...

Yes...who can skip Luke 2 on Christmas Eve? Blessings to you!

Becoming Me said...

This scripture never gets old! Merry CHristmas to you

Mocha with Linda said...

Such a beautiful chapter. It grows dearer with every passing year.

Hugs to you!

Mel said...

That is an amazing scripture!! It is moreso each year.

Lisa said...

Sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in all the gifts. Thanks for reminding me to stop and reflect. That is one of my favorite memories of Christmas also.

Crystal said...

We always read Luke 2 on Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas, Xandra!