Simplify the Season: An Advent Devotional - Day Twenty-Eight (the final day of Advent)
by Erin Olson on December 24th, 2016

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT - A SAVIOR IS BORN

​Today is the day people will gather in churches around the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Many churches will light the final Advent candle today—the white candle in the center of the Advent wreath remembering Jesus as the light of the world. People will lift up the name of Jesus in the singing of carols, and prepare their hearts to hear the Christmas story once again. These words will be heard over and over, “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” (Luke 2:7).
 
Joseph and Mary had traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to fulfill Joseph’s obligation to register in the census called by the Roman Emperor Augustus.
 
“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.” (Luke 2:3–5)
 
Not only had they traveled, but many others did, as well. The small town of Bethlehem was full of travelers. According to Scripture, there was no room for Joseph and Mary—no one would receive them or accept them. Did Joseph have no extended family left in Bethlehem? Did no one care about this pregnant girl? The only accommodations they could find were in a place where animals were housed. A frantic first-time father surely would have let people know his wife was about to give birth, but no one made room for Joseph or Mary. They made no room for Jesus.
 
Charles Spurgeon once reflected on why Jesus had to be born in a stable. He said, “We might tremble to approach a throne, but we cannot fear to approach a manger.” Jesus’ birth in the free stable reflected the humiliation he would suffer, and also the fact Jesus is free to all people, and especially the most humble. Would the shepherds have approached Jesus had he been born anywhere else?
 
Churches today have the opportunity to be seen as the stable—a free place where all can come and hear the Gospel message. On this final day of Advent, may many prepare room in their hearts to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. As little Christs, may we reflect the humble spirit of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, and may our churches be seen as lighthouses ready to receive all those who are weary travelers in need (the same is true of our homes and Christmas dinner tables). May today and tomorrow simply be filled with reflecting on the overwhelming love of the Father who sent His Son for you and me.  


Posted in not categorized    Tagged with Erin Olson, Sandalfeet, Sandalfeet Minsitries, A Savior is Born, Simplify the Season, Advent, Advent Devotional, Luke 2:7


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