Given December 20, 2015
While in Bethlehem for the census, Mary gave birth to Jesus in the stable where they had to spend the night. She wrapped Jesus in long cloths and placed him in a manger on the hay that was there for the animals to eat.
Out in the fields, an angel appeared to the shepherds who were watching their sheep that night. The angel said that the Savior had been born down in Bethlehem. Suddenly a bunch of other angels appeared and began singing praises to God. What a sight and sound that must have been! Then all the angels left and the shepherds decided to travel to Bethlehem and see the Christ-child.
There they found Mary, Joseph and the baby in the stable. After their visit, they began to tell everybody about this amazing child and everything the angel had said about him. It must have been hard for Mary to understand, that the baby in her arms was the Savior of the world but she kept quiet about it and just thought about it.
After Jesus’ birth, Herod was king of Judea. At this time wise men (Magi) from the east saw a star, they came in search, knowing the star signified the birth of the king of the Jews. The wise men came to the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem and asked where the Christ was to be born. The rulers explained, “In Bethlehem in Judea,” referring to Micah 5:2. Herod secretly met with the Magi and asked them to report back after they had found the child. Herod told the Magi that he too wanted to go and worship the baby. But secretly Herod was plotting to kill the child. He didn’t want another king around.
So the wise men continued to follow the star in search of the new born king and found Jesus with his mother in Bethlehem. (Most likely Jesus was already two years of age by this time.) They bowed and worshiped him, offering gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh. When they left, they did not return to Herod. They had been warned in a dream of his plot to kill Jesus so they went home a different way. So, God’s plan to save the world was set into motion and that’s why we have Christmas.