Luke 2:1-20; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 7:6; 9:6-7
Around this time of year everyone has one thing in mind, getting through Thanksgiving in order to plan and prepare for Christmas. No sooner than the turkey cools down we begin to prepare for Christmas. Many, right after the Thanksgiving meal start to put up trees and put out decorations. Just the next day, Black Friday one of the busiest shopping days of the Christmas season many are out buying gifts, waiting in lines, and preparing for Christmas morning.
We are a busy people no matter what season or time we find ourselves in or involve with. We plan and prepare for everything that takes place around us. There are even things in which we are involved with that requires someone planning and preparing so that we can do the thing we enjoy doing. I’m sure many of you have heard some say, “you think all of this just happened by itself?” Meaning that someone took the time to think through everything necessary in order to provide us with the things that we need. A simple task like going to the store to pick up a present, we never think of all the logistical planning, the shipping and expediting, the hours required for manufacturing and finally getting all of that to several destination across America in time for a young child on Christmas morning. But the joy and excitement on a child’s face when they open those presents on Christmas and see that they got the very things they put on their Christmas list or asked Santa Clause is worth all the time and planning to see that look.
The same is true when we read the Christmas story in Luke’s Gospel, for hundreds of years before the birth of Christ the prophets told of a coming child, a son who would bring Israel back to the Lord God. They knew what His name would be “a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:6). What He would be, a King sitting on David’s throne, and bring justice and righteousness with Him (Isaiah 9:7).
His very character is described by Isaiah a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). They had a promise from God, Himself that He was going to see this through.
Fast forward seven hundred years to a star lit night in Bethlehem and we find a young man named Joseph going through Bethlehem looking for a room for the night in order to give his wife Mary a warm and comfortable place to give birth. It would seem like any minute now their newborn baby would make His way into the world, but hopefully not before Joseph could find them a place to stay for the night. Many of you I’m sure know this story found in Luke 2:1-20. Mary is found pregnant by a divine act of God through the Holy Spirit and is carrying the Son of God, Jesus Christ in her womb. Joseph of course is comforted by the Lord God in dream revealing to him that what has taken place in Mary is a result of God’s divine intervention and he is encouraged to take Mary as his wife and to raise Jesus as if it was his son. There is a prophesy in Micah 5:2 that is declared by the Lord that the One who would rule Israel will be born in Bethlehem. This prophesy also is in direct line with the Lord Jesus Christ and His birth as well. With Mary and Joseph living in Galilee and actually preparing to make a home there and raise their son in the same region. And so, begins the work of God preparing and planning to bring Micah’s prophesy to fulfillment. We find that God put everything together by using Augustus Caesar to initiate a census that would require everyone in Israel to return to their tribal homeland to be register for the Census in Israel. This requires Joseph and Mary to pack up and return to Bethlehem since they both are in the ancestral line of King David. And so, then we find Joseph panicking to try to find his young bride and comfortable place because she is about to give birth. There is no amount of planning or preparing on Josephs part or Mary that could have orchestrated the events as they unfolded for their Child, Jesus to be born in the fields of Bethlehem. Only the Lord God’s planning and preparation could set the stage and move the actors to be where they needed to be at just the right moment to bring the Savior into the world. Just as God prepared for every step for Joseph and Mary to bring the Christ into the World and although they found no room. God also has prepared all of this for us as well, that while those then had no room but that we today would find room for Him. As the Christmas Hymn goes; “Joy to the World! The Lord has come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room.” (Joy to the World) I would challenge you this Advent season no matter how faithful you may be, take a moment throughout this season and prepare room in your heart and life to let the Lord God be seen and to reach out to those who need something extra this Christmas season.