Luke 2:1-20

“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. Luke 2:1-20 NLT. Christmas 2020 will be so different for many of us; limited gatherings of family and friends who are more cautious than others about being in large groups. No matter what your Christmas looks like, the passage above should bring comfort to your soul this Advent season. To the regular reader, you are aware this is a much longer passage than I typically share in the article. Our oldest son, Aaron, works for Love Packages and recently he shared one of the testimonies about how a Christian magazine led people to Jesus. The primary focus of their ministry is distributing the Word of God to individuals who do not have even one copy of the Bible. Yet a secondary work is the distribution of other Christian literature, which helps with discipleship wherever the Bibles go! Just imagine if the back of this bulletin were to lead one person to Christ this Christmas season? After you finish reading this article, consider leaving this bulletin in a conspicuous place. The grocery store, department store, one of the big box stores, a laundromat, a restaurant that is open for business. Hannah does a great job of making the inside very colorful and easy to read, every cover has a great picture. I’m believing people will pick it up and look it over and possibly read the story of Emmanuel. We need more testimonies like Love Packages as to how the Word of God has impacted people’s lives this Christmas season.


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