Suggested Date: December 21st
Today we’ll read the account of Jesus’ birth from Luke’s Gospel. Luke starts out by telling us that
Joseph and Mary were traveling back to Joseph’s hometown, so to speak, to be counted in a Roman
census. This census and their travel plans were hugely significant. According to Micah’s prophecy over seven hundred years before, the King of all Kings would be born in Bethlehem. Everything was coming together!
Scripture: Luke 2:1-14
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman
world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone
went to their own town to register.
4 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. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was
pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for
the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and
placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An
angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
1. Why did the angels appear to shepherds?
2. What do these verses tell us about the kind of people God cares about?
3. Why do you think God had His Son born in a stable rather than a palace?
4. Who were the first people to hear the good news of Jesus’ birth? Why do you think this is significant?
5. Who did the angels tell the shepherds this child was? What was the sign to look for?
The Son of God was carried in a virgin’s womb. The king of all Kings born in a stable in Bethlehem. The first to hear were the Shepherds, and they were informed by an angel, a messenger from God. The newborn Son of God would be wrapped up in cloth and lying in an animal feeding trough. Throughout the account of Jesus’ birth, perfectly ordinary parts of human life become different and sacred.
God Himself was with us.
respond in worship
“Hail the heaven-born Prince of
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king”
respond in prayer
Dear Jesus, just like the angels who celebrated your birth, we too rejoice that you came to earth in
the flesh to live among us. What a gift—what a sacrifice you made for each one of us! We can never thank you enough. Please keep our hearts turned toward you this week as we celebrate your birth. Amen.