The weekday devotions will be back starting January 2, 2018.
In the meantime, here’s a devotion from Christmas Moments II – In My Father’s Footsteps, Volume 5.
Begin the Journey
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child….
When my three sons were born, there was no such thing as Facebook or Twitter.
In May of 1996, February of 1999 and March of 2000 I had to actually call people on the telephone to tell them that my sons had been born.
Imagine! Actually calling people on the telephone to tell them good news!
People of a certain age are laughing at that statement.
People of another certain age are shaking their heads in wonder and disbelief.
But no matter what age you are, I think you will agree with me that certain good news is just too good to keep to yourself. And the birth of a child is the epitome of this kind of good news!
On Christmas morning a few years ago, at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Hawthorn Woods, I preached a message about this very thing.
It was called “The Greatest Gift: Given and Received” and I started with a few stories that people shared with me about the greatest gifts they have either received or given. I received a lot of responses on Facebook about this when I polled my friends about a month previous.
Not surprisingly, the birth of a child was the majority of the stories shared with me.
So, it also doesn’t come as a surprise to me that the greatest gift ever given or received was the birth of a child.
The birth of Jesus was God’s gift to the entire world of all time. How can one child possibly be a gift for billions of people throughout history?
Ever since Adam and Eve brought sin into God’s creation, the promise of one who would be our Savior from sin was eagerly anticipated by many.
However, it took thousands of years. And when this gift actually arrived, no one outside of the stable knew about it until an angel told some shepherds.
As soon as the angels left the shepherds, they went to verify the message and saw Jesus in Bethlehem.
They didn’t dally, either. They hurried and rushed. This news demanded speed. Because it was amazingly good news!
The Messiah – the Christ – had come! Salvation had arrived after thousands of years!
How good was this news? It was so good that the shepherds spread the word that this child was the Messiah! He was the Savior. He was God!
Now, the big question for you this Christmas Day is, “What are you going to do with this good news?”
Jesus Christ is your Savior. He came the first time as a baby born to the Virgin Mary. He was born in the little town of Bethlehem.
He did this for you. To save you from your sins. To give you eternal life.
This is the greatest gift ever given or received.
Who will you tell about this gift today? Tomorrow? And for the rest of your life?
This has been the destination of this epic journey of Biblical proportions – to tell other people this good news of Jesus the Savior.
In one sense the journey ends here. But really this is the start of another journey – your journey of telling this Good News, of living this Good News.
Now you are taking an epic journey of Biblical proportions!
Heavenly Father, thank you for guiding me on this epic journey to Christmas. Thank you for the gift of a Savior. Thank you for the forgiveness of sins. I pray you will use me to share the Good News with other people, starting with those I will see today as I celebrate Christmas! In Jesus’ name. Amen.