I am totally copying my friend Suzette right now, but she is one of those amazing, lovely people who would say, "Go for it, Kristi!" Anyway, Suzette, you know copying is the best form of flattery and you already know I think you're an AMAZING godly woman!
ABC's of Christmas
Luke 2:11-12 "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
A-Angel of the Lord: The Angel of the Lord visited the shepherds in the field, who were watching their sheep, and told them not to be afraid but that there was some great news to share. A Savior was born who is Christ the Lord. After the angel gave his message then a whole host of angels began worshiping and praising God. After the angels left the shepherds immediately wanted to go see the Savior. It is awesome how the shepherds knew that this message from the angels was from God and that it was true. There was no sign of doubt, but rather after hearing about this amazing news they wanted to be a part of this special occasion and they went to Bethlehem. Isn't it awesome when you read God's Word and you see God reveal Himself to ordinary people doing ordinary things and they obey? God sent angels and revealed Himself to shepherds working in the fields with sheep and told them that Jesus was born! I bet those shepherds were so happy that they were chosen to go see the Savior of the world!
B-Babe lying in a manger. Jesus entered this world as a baby. There is nothing more vulnerable and precious than a newborn baby. I can remember holding Julia just 6 days after Christmas on a snowy day at 7:16 a.m. on December 31st. What a powerful and humbling moment it must've been for Mary to hold her Son Jesus, who was fully God and yet fully man. She held the Savior of the world. It's amazing just holding any baby, nevermind the Savior! God chose an awesome way to enter this world He created. He could've just appeared at any age He wanted, but He chose to enter this world as an innocent baby who would be dependent on human, sinful parents. What a miracle.
C-Christ the Lord. Jesus Christ is not a lord, He is the Lord. John 14:6 says, Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." There is only one way to God and that is through His Son Jesus. There are not many roads to heaven. There is only one way. Sadly, in this day and age it is not even politically correct for me to say this, but I am not being political, I am being biblical. I stand by what I believe, because Jesus said it for all to hear. He is the only way to God. Many people want to take Christ out of Christmas, but without Christ, there is no Christmas.
D-Decree. At the beginning of Luke chapter 2 the whole reason why Mary and Joseph were even in Bethlehem was because of the decree that Caesar Augustus made that commanded everyone to go to their own city to be registered for the census. Now, I don't know about you, but in my last tri-mester of pregnancy I had a very round protruding belly. I was trying to picture Mary traveling on a donkey to Bethlehem in her final months and I bet she was super uncomfortable. Riding on a donkey isn't exactly on my list of fun things to do, especially not when I was pregnant. I didn't even like when John drove me to the hospital the night I went into labor, bless his heart, he was so determined and nervous about me going into labor that he wanted to get to Monmouth Medical as soon as humanly possible. Now, mind you, it was almost midnight, so there wasn't any traffic to speak of, but that didn't stop John from driving extra fast. I wanted him to get there, but I did not want to experience any bumps in the road. Mary must've felt lots of bumps on her journey. Mary and Joseph were even obedient at such an inconvenient time in her pregnancy to go and obey the decree to be registered. Which then fulfilled the prophecy that Jesus would be born in the City of David.
E-Elizabeth, Mary's relative, was barren, and yet God chose her to conceive John the Baptist (John would prepare the way for the Lord and make ready a people...Luke 1:17) even though she was "well advanced in years." I love how God sprinkles His mighty hand throughout all of history with miracles. What a miracle that Elizabeth would conceive a son just a few months before Mary is about to get pregnant with Jesus. I also thought it must've been so comforting for Mary to have someone else be pregnant with her that she was close to. She was able to go and visit Elizabeth and share God's wonderful news with her. Mary must've felt very lonely at this time, because sharing her story probably wasn't and option, and who would believe her?God always puts people in our life at just the right time, doesn't He? He is so faithful and compassionate to give us a much needed friend who is going through something that we are.
Luke 1:28b...Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.
Luke 1:30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."
Mary was probably between the ages of 13-15 since in those days they were betrothed young. She was highly favored by God. Wow, that is awesome. How many 13 year olds do you know whom you could say are highly favored by God or act that way? Mary must've been very special. God chose her out of all the other women of that time. It makes me wonder what she was like? Was she funny or shy? Was she outgoing or quiet? Was she kind and compassionate? Did she obey her parents? It makes you curious, doesn't it? Those of us who are children of God are all highly favored. He loves us so much that He has numbered the hairs on our heads and He knit and formed us in our mother's womb. If you take time to read Mary's Song in Luke 1: 46-55 you definitely can see why God chose her. She definitely had a relationship with God. The words she puts together and says shows her wisdom and maturity beyond her years...only God can give that wisdom. She blesses His name and speaks of how He has done great things for her...I think I want to write a song like that for God. Mary goes on to say how God put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly, so even she felt that she didn't deserve to be chosen, but she was God's maidservant. She was willing to do whatever God wanted to do in her life. She trusted that God knew exactly what He was doing. He definitely deserves all our praise!
G-Goodwill toward men. Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" All the angels (heavenly hosts) were singing praises to God about the birth of the Savior. With Jesus being born and living a pure life and dying for our sins there can be peace on earth. Jesus defeated death. Jesus defeated Satan and his demons. There is no longer any reason why we can't have peace with God when we trust in Christ to save us. There is goodwill toward men because God made a way when there was no way. He works in ways we never could imagine. His miracles are really all around us.
H-Herod, King of Judea. Herod was the King that had all the male children under the age of 2 killed because he knew that there was going to be a Jewish King born and he did not want to share the throne. Little did King Herod know that this King allowed him to be King of Judea. Little did Herod know that this Jewish King to be born in Bethlehem was to be the Savior. Little did Herod know that nothing he could do would be able to stop Jesus from entering the world and living. God provided a way for Mary and Joseph to escape to Egypt to keep Jesus safe from Herod's evil schemes.
I-Impossible! Luke 1:37 "For with God nothing will be impossible."
It is impossible for a barren woman to have a son...Not! Elizabeth conceives John the Baptist.
It is impossible for a virgin to become pregnant...Not! Mary births the baby Jesus.
It is impossible for a man to become mute when he was just talking...Not! Zacharias becomes mute because he did not believe the angels words about Elizabeth conceiving a son.
It is impossible for angels to appear...Not! Angels shared the good news with Mary, the shepherds, Zacharias, and to Joseph in a dream.
Nothing is impossible with God!!!