Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
Thinking back on Christmases past is a fun way to reflect on the good old days. The wonderful lights and decorations, festive holiday atmosphere, warm family get-togethers, unforgettable melodies, and jovial Christmas cheer all make for pleasant memories. But, of course, our hearts aren’t merry for these things alone. Christmas is the believer’s celebration of the arrival of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, “who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a Servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7).
Hallelujah! It is this Gift of God—His own beloved Son—whom we joyously adore with our hearts this Advent season. Jesus, who took on human flesh so that we might partake of His divine redemption, is the One our Christmas memories turn to, worshipping and adoring Him for all He has done for us. Take time this holiday season to make Christmas memories that last—memories that lovingly honor the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“CHRISTMAS- CAN WE BE SURE?”
November 27, 2016
Read Luke 1:1-4 TEXTIt seemed good to me…to write an orderly account for you…that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” (Mark 11:1-2)
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas this year? I always did. I’d hope and pray, but most years I’d look out the window and only see the same old, brown grass and bare trees. Sometimes we feel that same disappointment in our Christmases. We get our hopes up; we make all our preparations, but then we feel disappointed when the day rolls around.
Maybe our problem is building our Christmas excitement on uncertain things-a white Christmas, the perfect presents, everyone getting along at Christmas time. Luke had something different in mind when he wrote about the first Christmas.
Luke wasn’t your typical writer in the Bible though. Unlike Matthew he wasn’t one of Jesus’ 12 disciples; he never met Jesus face-to-face. He wasn’t even Jewish; he was a Gentile physician from Antioch in Syria. He joined Paul in his later missionary journeys. In Acts 16 notice Luke’s commentary changes from “they went” in verse six to “we went” in verse 11.
To write his Gospel and the earlier chapters of the book of Acts, Luke gathered his information from interviews he had with people who saw and heard Jesus, people who lived with Him, ate and drank with Him. Being an educated man, Luke didn’t get swept away by the ramblings of dreamy-eyed followers of Jesus. He made sure to ask for historical details and evidence from his witnesses-including Jesus’ mother Mary.
Prayer: Almighty God, I want to learn more about the first Christmas. Thank You for leaving us a record in the words of Jesus’ own mother Mary. Help me learn why Jesus was born and why that matters for my life now. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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