Each Monday in December, I'm sharing the Christmas story from the Bible. Week 1 and Week 2 covered Matthew. Now we will see how Luke told the story. I hope this gets your week, this very important week, off to a good start.
The Birth of Jesus, Luke 2:1-7
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
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. He went there with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
I think the challenge this week, for me at least, is making room for Jesus. Making room, finding time, and what am I saying - shouldn't He be first in this whole celebration of CHRISTmas?
But often He is not. Aren't we all like the people of Bethlehem, so busy and so full? Jesus is pushed to the barn, the outdoor shelter, the outer corners of our lives. We offer him something, but not everything. Not the place of honor in the center of the warm room, but the it'll-have-to-do place outside with the animals. I am guilty of that now, and at other times of the year. It just happens, and I've found that I have to be purposeful to change it.
If you want to make room in your house (and heart) for Jesus this week, here are some ideas I've collected from books and around the internet:
- Make a Jesse Tree. Ann Voskamp's December devotional ebook explains it all so beautifully.
- Set out a nativity scene. Here are some great ideas on making it "real."
- Incorporate children's books with a Jesus theme into your Christmas reading, like The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, Christmas Angels by Gwen Ellis, or Drummer Boy by Loren Long.
- Make a birthday cake for Jesus.
- Attend a Christmas Eve service.
- Read the Christmas story out of the Bible, together.
- Play Christmas music, like Handel's Messiah.
- Give a gift to God this Christmas - like something from Heifer International, Wise Gifts (on my side bar), or any local charity. You could also make a personal commitment, like listening to more Christian music in the coming year, reading the Bible daily, or making amends with someone. The possibilities are endless. . .
Do you have any tips on how to make room for Jesus this week, and always?