Advent Devotion, 12/23/22
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[a] 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.s.
“…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…”
In just a few days, we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Gifts may still need to be bought and wrapped, cookies baked, trees decorated, miles traveled to be with loved ones. But we ARE preparing for that special time to remember the first coming of Jesus.
Mary and Joseph prepared as well. Although, I imagine she may not have planned to have a child before being married, travel 90+ miles in the last days of her pregnancy, or give birth in a stranger’s inn with no mother or midwife to help! The Bible doesn’t give many details, just that when it was time, she gave birth and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. Mary had swaddling clothes ready. Joseph prepared the manger for the baby.
It’s said that shepherds would wrap baby lambs in swaddling clothes and place them in a manger to help calm and keep them without defect, to be used as sacrificial lambs in the Temple. God was preparing, too. Preparing the world for His perfect lamb to be sacrificed for the sins of the world.
Advent is not only about celebrating the coming of baby Jesus. Just as Mary and Joseph looked ahead, preparing for Jesus’ initial coming, we too, must prepare for his second coming.
Are you prepared for Christmas? What can you do to prepare for his return?
Thank you, Jesus, for coming as a sacrificial lamb long ago to take away my sins and the sins of the world. Now, help me prepare for the day you will return once again.
ADVENT PLAYLIST SONG
“It Came to Pass,” Andrew Petersen, “Behold the Lamb of God”