Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ
Scripture: St. Luke 2:1-14 (NKJV)
2:1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Our salvation is a real event. It is not a myth or a “nice story.” It is just as real for you as the best and worst days of your life. That is the importance of the historical names, places, and events that are included in Luke’s account of the Lord’s nativity. These points remind us that our life and salvation in Jesus Christ is not just sentiments or spiritual abstractions; it is as real as time, space, flesh, and blood.
God’s “peace on earth and good will toward men” is an important confession that our salvation is very much connected to our everyday lives. The Christian faith is about far more than believing the right things about Jesus and then waiting to die and go to Heaven. We toil under the realities of sin now, but the Gospel also brings us peace now! God’s good will is His blessings in the Church, where He gives us wisdom, hope, and joy through His Word and the Sacraments that remind us that He is with us in Jesus Christ and that our sins are forgiven.
We pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the new birth of Thine only-begotten Son in the flesh may set us free, who are held in the old bondage under the yoke of sin; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.