Lord, free my mind from the images our culture paints and help me to appreciate the humble wonder of this day.
 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 their 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 to register 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 guest room available for them.
Reflect:WHAT IS MOST ASTONISHING ABOUT WHAT IS UNFOLDING?
As Luke says at the beginning, his Gospel is based on solid research among eyewitnesses (1:2,3). Almost certainly Mary was one of those people he spoke to. In the end he wants us to be as certain as possible about these events. There is no sentimentality here and maybe we can learn from that. A sweet, sugary Christmas is too easy for adults to dismiss as some kind of fairy tale. Jesus’ birth was anything but that.Our familiarity with this story can make us blind to what is significant. We all know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, don’t we? But if it had not been for a political decision by a Roman emperor (1), as likely or not he would have been born in Nazareth. Yet 700 years earlier Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). God’s ancient plan was being fulfilled. Are there things about your own story that point to God’s orchestration of events?
God’s timing is everything. Are you positioning your heart to wait for him from a place of trust?
Messiah, thank You for what You have done. May my heart never lose the wonder of it!
Syndicated via Scripture Union