Christmas - Love - Day 23

Opening Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love demonstrated through the birth of your Son Jesus, your only son, given to this world as our only hope for eternal life. We pray that our hearts would be thankful, and our lives would replicate your love to everyone!

 

Read: Luke 2:1-7, NIV

1 "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 his 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 room for them in the inn.”

 

Reflect:   

Christmas time brings many memories of traditions and family times for me. We decorate the house, put up a tree, adorn the outside in lights and play Christmas music while baking our favorite cookies and desserts! Since my first daughter was very young, we have always had a manger scene, with plastic characters on display in our home. The thought for my wife and I was that we did not want to put up something fragile and breakable, but instead, we wanted our kids to “get to know” the Christ child and the cast of characters from that amazing day! She was, in fact, fascinated with the pieces and would play with them often. At the age of two or three, she would have the animals and people arranged in different ways, in and around the manger. For her, the characters were alive. She would talk to them and give them voice-overs in her own little dialogue.

As she grew up, she put Christ in her heart and memorized God’s word through Bible quiz, quoting scriptures in competition. She decided to follow Christ as her Lord and savior and even decided to attend a Christian University. After graduation, she spent five weeks in Thailand, teaching English to local students. She now teaches Art in an inner-city school and participates in many outreach ministries, because she understands that she is the very hands and feet of Jesus. That same Jesus she played with in the manger as a young child transformed her life, and he, through her, is continuing to transform the world.

The birth of Christ set in motion the plan of salvation for a lost and dying world. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, sharing his love with the hopeless. During his life on earth, he demonstrated love for humanity and commanded us to follow his pattern of living. “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35 NIV).

 

Apply: 

Do you have any traditions in your family you partake in each Christmas? Do these traditions capture the love that God demonstrated to us through the birth of Jesus? While the commercialism of Christmas may seem very disappointing, it can truly be a memorable time of family togetherness. Consider what things you can do as a family “together” to celebrate the savior’s birth. You can make reading the Christmas story a tradition. Perhaps your family can sing Christmas carols at a retirement home? Could you make cookies and bring them to your neighbors? Whenever the spirit of giving is at work, God’s love is being demonstrated and the true meaning of Christmas will shine through you!

 

Closing Prayer: 

Lord, you gave the greatest gift of all at the very first Christmas. May we look for opportunities every day to share the love of Christ through words and deeds, however your Holy Spirit leads us. May this world see through us, that Jesus IS the reason for the season!

Today’s Family Christmas Calendar Activity: Read Luke3 2:107 and write a thank you card to God for sending his Son.

Pick up a calendar at your campus. Learn more at ChristmasAtPathway.com

https://www.pathwaychurch.com/christmas

Terry Schneider