18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son.
And he called his name Jesus.
96 Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth!
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12 let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13 before the Lord, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
A Christmas tree is a sign - a Tree pointing to Jesus returning to Heaven - to His Holy Father's Kingdom to live. All Christmas ornaments have a holy story behind them.
Jesus chose to live among us as truth and grace to be beheld. Jesus was born in difficult circumstances, not what any parent hopes for. A time of despair for parents anticipating the life of the next generation. This sign was given first to a king, long before Jesus chose a narrow path born to a carpenter, building a house for his future bride.
10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask a sign of the Lord yourf God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 And heg said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
Joseph proved himself a royal father to care for God's Son. Even leaving the country to Egypt before doing the difficult task spoken of twice in the Gospels - blending back into Nazareth.
Jesus could have been born in a palace, and instead chose a narrow path. A path of great meaning. Part of an earthly family recording sibling goading and sibling rescue and sibling abandonment to sibling reclamation. Eventually Jesus knew His Brothers would travel the world to spread the Good News of God's Gift of Salvation.
What other way was Jesus going to Heaven? He could have disappeared - Jesus is recorded as doing this in life. People would have looked for him. He could have walked off into the distance. People would have looked for Him. So, God makes a bold statement - Jesus has gone to Heaven.
Jesus is the Light of the World. Mystics record that the star didn't shed light, Jesus by being born, brought forth Light. John called Jesus the Light of the World.
and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
Light from Light. True God of True God.
1 Timothy 3:16
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
1 Timothy 1:14-15
The grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners
Father God, let us honor, cherish, nurture and grow those You have given us. Telling them of Your Faithfulness - Higher than the Skies. Father God, may we have power, of Christ dwelling in our hearts, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. We pray this in Jesus, may we partake of Your Goodness always. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †