Waking Christmas morning and knowing that the magic day has come. Running downstairs to discover what’s under the tree. Opening a package and finding something special that was selected just for you. Christmas is a day of delights that we can always approach with fresh wonder.
What do you like best about the way you currently celebrate Christmas?
You may or may not have had idyllic Christmases as a child, but as you think back over your past Christmases, what are you thankful for?
Try to read and reflect on Luke 2 as though for the first time, looking at the unfolding scenes through the wonder-filled eyes of a child.
Read Luke 2:1-20.
- The distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 70 miles. What would it be like to be Joseph taking that weeklong walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem?
What would it be like for Mary?
- If you were in Mary and Joseph’s place, what kinds of conversations with God might you be having during this time?
- Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth reads like a newspaper article (vv. 4-7). What key facts do you learn?
What overall impression does Luke leave you with?
- What, for you, is the significance of the place and circumstances around Jesus’ birth?
- We like to see shepherds on Christmas cards or in a children’s pageant. But back then they were an outcast group. So, what in the angel’s message would be incredible to them (vv.9-14)?
- What do you notice about the shepherds’ response to what they experience (vv. 16-20)?
- God had been preparing the characters of Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ earthly parents. From all that you have seen of them so far, what qualities of strong character do you perceive?
- What aspects of their character would you like to emulate and why?
- We see in the passage how the shepherds rush off to share the good news and then how others respond with amazement. What can you do to nurture the experience of the holy wonder of Christmas for your friends and family?
Ask God to re-create in you a childlike wonder as you ponder the miracle of his Son’s birth.
Now or Later
Read Luke 2:21-52 for a number of important events from Jesus’ early life.