2 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels: Luke 2:8-20 NRSV
8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before 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; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Daily Questions& Prayers
Sunday: Luke 2:1-4
What are some advantages of your hometown? Disadvantages? Where do you think God is at work in your hometown?
Dear God, I thank you for the town that I call home. Bless and keep all of the towns that are close to my heart, and help me to be a good member of the community. Amen.
Monday: Luke 2:5-7
What would it be like to have a baby in a barn? What do you think that it means that Jesus was born, not just to humans, but also to the animals? What do you think that it means that Jesus, the King of Kings, was born in the opposite of a palace?
Dear Jesus, I am thankful that you were born on earth, and that you came to all creation. Help me to remember your humble birth in the midst of all of the holiday joy. Amen.
Tuesday: Luke 2:8-9
Why do you think that the angels came to visit the shepherds to tell them about the birth of Jesus, before anyone else? Who in our time do you think that the angel would have come to?
Dear Lord, I thank you that you are not afraid to bring the message of your love all the way to the edges of society. Help me to be brave in proclaiming your message. Amen.
Wednesday: Luke 2:10-12
What is the best news that you have ever received? Who gave you the news? What was your reaction? How do you think the shepherds felt?
Dear Jesus, I thank you for being the good news of great joy of Christmas. Make my words and deeds reflect your joy, from the inside out. Amen.
Thursday: Luke 2:13-15
Shepherds did not usually make midnight trips to town. Why do you suppose that they left their responsibilities that night? What kind of good news would be enough for you to drop everything and go?
(Spend a bit of time being quiet, and listening for God’s voice) Dear God, when you call me, help me to drop everything and go. Amen.
Friday: Luke 2:16-18
Tell about a time when you talked to someone else about Jesus. Who else could you tell today?
Dear Jesus, I thank you for being born as a real human being. Help me to not keep this miracle to myself, but to share it with those whom you have prepared. Amen.
Saturday: Luke 2:19-20
The shepherds just can’t get enough of Jesus! What is something wonderful that you want to experience again and again? How can you invite God into that experience?
Dear God, thank you for wonderful experiences in my life. Help me to treasure them, and to meet you there. Amen.