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Thought for the month....

Image by Greyson Joralemon


In December many countries celebrate Christmas by putting up decorations, singing carols and giving gifts. Towns and churches put up nativity scenes and schools perform Christmas plays.


When you stop to think about the quintessential nativity scene what would you think it would consist of?

  • Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus?

  • The donkey and other animals in the stable?

  • The shepherds and the three wise men?

  • The star?


These scenes bring into mind the birth of the most important man in history, Jesus Christ. 


But have you ever stopped to think what it would have been like to be there for the birth?


If you were to read the Bible accounts of the birth of Jesus Christ, you may be surprised that some of the things depicted in the plays and scenes didn’t happen as shown or are not even mentioned at all.


For instance, Mary is not recorded as riding a donkey and in fact no animals other than sheep are even mentioned. There is also no mention of a stable and we don’t know how many wise men there were.


So what do we know then you may ask?

We know from the Bible that Joseph travelled with a heavily pregnant Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem. (Luke 2:4-5) 


They arrived in Bethlehem and sought to find room in the inn. There was no room, so when Mary went into labour and gave birth to Jesus, she had nothing to lay him in other than a manger. (Luke 2:6-7)


After the birth of Jesus, angels visited some shepherds in the surrounding countryside and informed them of the birth. These shepherds then left their flocks and went to find the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. (Luke 2:15-16)


Tradition states that three wise men then came to worship the baby Jesus after following a star.

We know from the Bible that the wise men came to worship the child, bringing with them the three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. However the Bible doesn’t tell us how many wise men there were, their names or when they came. The wise men did not visit immediately after the birth but arrived when Jesus was still a young child no older than two years old. We know this because his birth threatened the reign of the ruler at the time. (Matthew 2:1-16)


You see that the world's version of the birth of the Lord Jesus didn’t happen exactly the way the Bible says it did.


The Son of God left heaven to be born into a world with no room for Him. The people in Bethlehem had no idea that just outside their Saviour the King of the Jews was born. Herod the king at the time wanted him killed and 30 years later he was betrayed and crucified.

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

John 1:10-11


So why did Jesus leave heaven to be born as a man into poverty, to be persecuted, to be abandoned by his people and his friends?


The answer is a simple one.

The Apostle Paul, once a great persecutor of the church wrote this:

 ‘…I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’

Galatians 2:20


He came down from heaven because He loves us and died for us!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16


When we as Christians remember Christmas we don’t just celebrate His birth, we celebrate our risen Saviour, our King and our Lord.


In a world with the ever increasing commercialism and the aim to change the meaning of Christmas, remember that Jesus Christ is not dead, He is alive and He is the greatest gift we can receive this Christmas.


Image by Alisa Anton
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