Friday, December 7, 2012

The Greatest Gift by Elizabeth Hollis Taylor

Luke 2:1-20

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

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. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 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 Saviorhas 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.

We hear the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem of Judea again and again during the Christmas season, but never tire of it.

What a marvelous gift His life and teachings are for us.  Do we accept all of His gifts through his words, or only those that agree with our beliefs or desires?  It is easy to accept the words when He says, “Ask and it will be given unto you – seek and you will find, know and the door will be opened to you.”  We also read these words, “They will lay hands on you and persecute you.  Make up your minds not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.  All men will hate you because of me.  By standing firm, you will gain life.” (Luke 21:12-19
This is more difficult to accept, but He assures us that the gift of life will be ours.

Prayer:  Lord, thy gifts so freely given showing us the way to Heaven, may we use these gifts alright, leaning on thy power and might. Amen.

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