This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1 : 18 -21
Merry Christmas everyone! Going through a whole book of the Bible means starting at the beginning, so for the next few weeks it’s going to be Christmas in April. It can be strange to hear these readings that are so familiar to us, but that we associate with a very particular time of year. Especially odd seeing as we’ve just finished celebrating Easter
But the Nativity story isn’t just for Christmas. It’s the story how God came to dwell amongst his people, how out of love for us he exchanged glory and power for the body of a baby, so that we might be saved. It’s actually very appropriate to read these passages so close to Easter because they are all part of the same story: the story of how God entered the world, lived a human life, and through death and resurrection made a way for us to be redeemed.
Christmas can be quite an overwhelming time. There are decorations to put up, cards to send, parties to attend, presents to buy and dinner to prepare, and on top of that all we try to reflect on the birth of our saviour. It’s exhausting! So for the next couple of weeks let’s take a moment to reflect on these familiar passages, free from all the distractions of Christmas, and see what they have to say to us today.
Prayer: Lord help me to approach these passages with fresh eyes and an open mind. Help me to discover that the story of Jesus’s birth isn’t a once a year thing, but something that changes my life each and every day.
Action: Try doing something today that you usually only do at Christmastime. It could be decorating your house, sending a card to a loved one or singing aloud. Bring some festive cheer to the lockdown.