Listen to this devotional:
Recently, I watched a National Geographic television special on the conception and birth of human beings, dogs, elephants, and dolphins. As I watched, I wondered how anyone could be aware of the amazing miracles of conception and birth, and the wonders of this world with all its beauty, and not realize that we have an awesome God who created all this and is ever faithful. Have you ever pondered all this?
Also, as I watched, thoughts ran through my mind about another conception, an exceptional one. The time is drawing nigh when, once again, we celebrate Christmas, a time for recognizing the miraculous conception and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. So many centuries later, He is the real reason for Christmas, no matter what the sceptics say.
Matthew 1:20-21 – But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." (NKJV)
His birth took place in a humble stable, yet it got the attention of many: the shepherds, the people of Bethlehem, the wise men, King Herod, the chief priests, and all the people of Jerusalem. Today, many prefer to ignore that event, and some even deny outright the existence of Christ. We have to ask, if it did not happen as it is written in the holy Bible, why are so many of us still celebrating His birth in spite of legal and social pressures to prevent us from doing so? Like the shepherds, how can we keep quiet after receiving God's precious gift of eternal life in Jesus?
Luke 2:17 – When [the shepherds] had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child. (NIV)
I also think that there is an inherent longing within each of us for the peace and goodwill the angels proclaimed:
Luke 2:13-14 – And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (NKJV)
Those feelings bear fruit as we reach out to family and friends in love and kindness at Christmastime more than any other. Peace and goodwill reign in our homes, around our tables, and on the streets when we greet one another as at no other time of year. We can only hope that some who have not believed will do so when experiencing such love as God sent to this world when He sent His Son.
Prayer: Father God, as we prepare to celebrate Christmas, we praise You for Your faithfulness. May we humbly offer thanks for the conception and birth of Jesus, the greatest gift we could ever receive. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.