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1In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

  8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,   and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Merry Christmas. My hope and prayer today is that Christmas may be summed up in two words – FOR YOU.

Like the presents under the tree with your name on it, God’s gift is given simply because God loves YOU.

This is God’s gift for you.

For YOU!

For you is born a Savior who says, ‘Your sins are forgiven’. For you is born a Savior who says, ‘Be healed’. For you is born a Savior who says to the storms we face, ‘Be still!’ For you is born a Savior who allows his hands to be nailed to a cross to rescue us from our sin.

For you is born a Savior who conquered the great last enemy of every one of us, death itself. He gives us life – that is the greatest miracle of all.

For unto YOU is born a Savior – for Mary, for Joseph, for the shepherds, for you and for me.

Martin Luther puts it this way:

“You need not fear that you will be turned away at a castle from seeing the babe. He lies in a manger of a cow stall, in a place occupied by oxen and donkeys. Do not be ashamed of it. There you are welcome. And the angel is not ashamed of directing you there! Come to see and believe that this Babe is come, not to judge you, but to save.”

For unto us is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Amen and Merry Christmas!

This video is my favorite. I hope you enjoy it too.

An Unexpected Christmas -

Let us Pray. All-powerful and unseen God, the coming of your light into our world has brightened weary hearts with peace. Call us out of darkness, and empower us to proclaim the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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