Advent Devotional for December 11th

The Birth of Jesus

1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn 8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth 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 heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

Luke 2:1-14, one of the most iconic passages in the Bible, tells the story of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  A couple of things are striking to me. First, the simplicity of it all.  God chose to come to earth in the form of a child, born in a barn, to poor parents with lowly shepherds as witnesses. Quite astounding considering the magnitude of this event. Second, the words of the Angel of the Lord, ‘Do not be afraid.’

We live in a world where there is much to fear. From the daily pressures and expectations of life; to the unstable state of our world that seems to spin faster by the day. Not being afraid is much easier said than done. Yet, God asks us to simply trust Him. He knows our fears before thought or spoken. He desires that we lean into him when we are afraid. He will provide the simple peace we all need in a world we often do not understand.

This Advent season and beyond, may we all seek to love more and fear less. May we remember the deliberate simplicity God chose for the birth of his son. And may we aspire to live life and view the world through the eyes of children. “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.

-Christian Flohr

Antonio Correggio, Nativity, 1580, São Paulo Museum of Sacred Art

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