Today's Devotion - December 24
The Birth of Jesus
Tonight, many of us will be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord. We invite you to join us later this evening at nschurch.org anytime after 5 PM as we worship together. We will have to do this online this year due to the pandemic, but we think you will enjoy the service that has been prepared.
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.
An order from the Roman Emperor caused Joseph and Mary to travel from Nazareth in Galilee, about 80 miles south to Bethlehem of Judea in order to register for the census. Imagine walking or travelling on the back of a donkey for 80 miles and being nine months pregnant!
While they are in Bethlehem, Mary gives birth to Jesus. God uses these common, poor people to accomplish his plan. Even more amazing is that God would choose to work like this, taking people and places that seem so ordinary to accomplish his perfect will.
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 Savior 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 favor 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 tells us that God announced to shepherds, who were watching over their sheep, that his Son had been born in Bethlehem: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
The shepherds hear the news first and hurry to see the baby. Their story of Jesus amazed the people. Once again, Mary seems to be internalizing much of this, “treasuring up all these things and pondering them in her mind.”
God chooses a “lowly bunch” when he sends the angel to the shepherds. It is a night like no other when Christ was born.
I hope something will touch your heart as it did for those shepherds. A savior has been born to you. It does not matter if you are a king or a shepherd, Christ has come to save all the world from sin. Let us rejoice and praise God once again. This is good news of great joy for all people!
Merry Christmas - with love,
Our Father – We bow before you on this Holy Night to remember that your Son was born to common people, not royalty. He was announced first to shepherds, not to kings. His life changed everything in your world. All people have an opportunity to have their sins forgiven. Thank you for the birth of a baby so long ago in Bethlehem who grew up and transformed the world. We rejoice and we celebrate Jesus once again today. Amen
Christmas Eve Service
Our Christmas Eve Service will be online this year at 5 PM.
We desire to LOVE GOD with all of our hearts,
LOVE OTHERS as Christ loves us,
and to SERVE THE WORLD through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our desire is to be a community where we LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS, and SERVE THE WORLD.
We are a group of believers seeking authentic relationships with Christ and one another.
We worship, fellowship, study, and serve to develop greater intimacy with our Creator and His creation.
At Northside we express our love and gratitude to God through spiritual,
God-centered worship and celebration.
We are a place where healing and unconditional love can be found;
a place to build a closer and deeper relationship with God and others.
We work to share Christ's message through acts of service in our community and around the world.
If you are looking for a church family or just visiting we would love to meet you.
We invite you to study, worship, and praise God with us.