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Luke 2:1-7 (NIV)
The Birth of Jesus
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
These few verses contain the birth announcement fofthe Christ Child, Jesus. Each year, as I hear this account read, I am amazed by how much information is contained in these few lines. I am also amazed at how little I know! The names and places are a mystery to me. The politics of the time, the geography and the family histories reflected here are a world away. Each name and place could occupy our study for weeks in a sermon series! Yet, even through the blur of history, the message rings clear: In the midst of politics and power, God reached down into the lives of one small family and entrusted them with his only Son. In those days, God did all of this for these days; he did this for you and me. From the foundations of the world, God knew he would come. He has had this great act of love and mercy in mind from the very beginning. God came close to draw us near to him. God became lowly to raise us up. For this we say, thanks be to God!