Next Sunday’s Readings – December 25, 2016

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord – Christmas

Isaiah 9:1-6     Titus 2:11-14    Luke 2:1-14

luke-2-1-14Mary and Joseph were both from the line of King David so they had to travel eighty miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census. Mary’s baby was due any day now! And as luck would have it, Bethlehem was overcrowded. They had to settle for a cave in the hillside which was used as a stall for animals.

Why would the Messiah choose to be born in such pitiable conditions and in total obscurity? God’s ways are different from our ways. The Lord descended not in pomp and majesty befitting a King, but in meekness and lowliness to show us the way of perfect love. The only room used as a throne for Jesus was the cross he came to bear for our sins. In Jesus lowly birth we see the foreshadowing of the greatest sacrifice God would make for our sake when his only begotten Son willingly embraced the crown of thorns and death on the cross for our salvation.

Why did the angels announce the birth of the new-born King of Israel to shepherds, rather than to the Jewish populace at large, or to the leaders of Israel? God chose to come in lowliness to show his loving-kindness and power to those who were humble of heart and ready to receive him.

Why was it necessary that God’s only begotten Son, the Word of God, become flesh? The Word became flesh so that we might know and experience the love of God. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. For God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

“Lord our God, with the birth of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, your glory breaks on the world. As we celebrate his first coming, give us a foretaste of the joy that you will grant us when the fullness of his glory has filled the earth.”

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