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  • Matt Kinniburgh



In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 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. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

 and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2:1-20 NIV


We have walked the road of Advent, we have lit the candles of hope, joy, and peace and now advent finds its culmination in love. This year, unlike most, finds the fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve landing on the same day. Our waiting is complete and we join the shepherds, these first witnesses of the incarnation, as we approach the manger. The manger, an animal feeding trough now repurposed as a cradle, houses the most powerful being in the cosmos. He arrives not in the pomp and circumstance of a cradle in a palace, not in the safety and security of a sanitary hospital room. But in a manger in a stable. This child we approach is unlike any other, the pure and full embodiment of love. The Light of the World shines in the darkness, not just the darkness of night, but all of the darkness of sin and brokenness and all of our fallen ways. It’s in this manger that love comes to take on all of our darkness and shine with an inextinguishable light. So, come to the manger. Remember there is no space for fear here because he is with us and his perfect love sends away all fear. 


Meditate Through Poetry

In 1885, Christina Rossetti reflected on incarnation with a poem called “Love Came Down At Christmas.” Take time with this time poem, read it aloud slowly, listen to the ways the words flow. What comes to mind?

Love came down at Christmas,

Love all lovely, Love Divine,

Love was born at Christmas,

Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,

Love Incarnate, Love Divine,

Worship we our Jesus,

But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,

Love be yours and love be mine,

Love to God and all men,

Love for plea and gift and sign.


PRAY | God you are with me and I trust you to be my love.


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