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The Wonder Is Within The Words

The German Christmas pyramid is spinning, the fire is glowing, and the music is playing. Sipping warm wassail from red mugs completes the ambiance. 

Though the setting is perfect, the Wonder is within the Words. 

A quiet settles over my soul with every reading of The Christmas Story. Even in the buzz of busy, a sense of awe surrounds this Account. The Holy Spirit has again pulled back the curtain to teach me more. I invite you to join me in considering:

The Inconvenience for Mary and Joseph
The Insignificance of Bethlehem
The Incomparable magnitude of the manger

The Inconvenience for Mary and Joseph
My respect for this young faith-filled couple only increases with each reading. The arduous travel, the ambiguity, the aloneness, the absence of a mother or a sister all portrays a daunting picture of enormous inconvenience. Yet, we glaze over their challenges. 
Pause…
Obedience involves inconvenience.

The Insignificance of Bethlehem
Have you ever asked, “Why Bethlehem?” The prophecy in Micah 5:2 records Bethlehem's apparant insignificance: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
Pause…
Jesus. Gave. Bethlehem. Significance. 
Does that thought find lodging in your soul? It does in mine. Jesus gave Bethlehem significance, and Jesus gives you and me significance. 
When tempted to feel small, I soar as I remember my Source of Significance.

The Incomparable magnitude of the manger
My amazement with the manger deepens as I stop to consider my place in this Story of Stories. My story merges with your story; our story merges with their story - that one Glorious Story!
Pause…
The Messiah in the manger is the Savior in our hearts. 
You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly to the church of the firstborn, whose name are written in heaven…to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant…(Hebrews 12:22-24)

Pause…
Savor The Wonder Within The Words, as you read alone - and aloud - The Birth of Jesus, Luke 2:1-20 (NIV).

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

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, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

It is true, isn’t it; Jesus has changed our hearts forever. 

Have a wonderful season of celebration. I will meet you again in January of 2017.