Ok, we've had our turkey feast, survived (or skipped) Black Friday, enjoyed a long weekend, and now are to Cyber Monday (or Black Monday if you have to return to work and school). The Christmas season has officially started. I know, there have been inklings of it since after Halloween, but they don't count. As the gift buying and hinting get into full swing, and travel plans are finalized, decorations are put up, Christmas songs fill our heads, and our favorite holiday movies and specials start appearing on the tube, I offer an early reminder. Christmas is a mashup of two words, Christ and Mass. Christ of course meaning the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, the Savior of all mankind who came to us in the form of an infant to take all our sins away, and Mass, meaning a celebration. The purpose of the day and the season is to celebrate Jesus, specifically His birth, which was the answer to the prayers of many centuries. It can be hard among all the other things we have crammed into this last month of the year, even the important things like seeing family during the time off, and the "Reason For The Season" signs, shirts and stickers have become ubiquitous enough that they kind of blend into the other signs of the season. So, instead of waiting for the pageant at church or Linus' famed reading, here is my reminder of what we are celebrating. Enjoy.
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.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
(from biblegateway.com , NIV)