Ever wished you lived somewhere else? I guess we all have at one time or another. But where we live doesn't matter nearly as much as something else: who we are. And in this story, you'll find out who YOU are.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to his 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 room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7, NIV)
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in a stable. And that's the reason we celebrate Christmas.
In some churches, a church service is called a "Mass." And the "Christ Mass" is a special church service to celebrate the birth of Jesus. That's where we get our word "Christmas," a day we set aside to honor the birth of Jesus Christ.
One of the things I like about this story is that it shows that God loves us no matter what it might look like around us. Jesus was born in a stable, which is a place where animals are kept. He had to sleep in a manger, which is the box where you put the food for animals.
God loved Jesus, his only Son, and He told Jesus this many times.
For instance, when Jesus was baptized, a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.' " (Matthew 3:17, NIV).
Wouldn't you think if God loved Jesus so much, He would have given Him a better place to be born? At least a nice clean bed to sleep in?
But instead, Jesus came into the world just like many of the rest of us. Not in a palace, but in a very ordinary place.
So don't think that if you don't live in a palace that God doesn't love you as much as He loves other people. God loves you no matter what it might look like where you live.
Where you live doesn't make you special to God. You're special to Him because He created you. He made you different than anyone else around you, and different than anyone else who has ever been born. Your eyes are different, your hair is different, even your fingerprints are different.
The Bible says that God knew each one of us before we're even born.
God knew YOU before you were born, too, and has a purpose for YOUR life!
If you don't feel very special, or wonder if God really loves you, remember where Jesus was born. And then remember that He loves you very much, too.
P.S.- You can still visit Bethlehem today in the country of Israel. Although the stable where He was born has been gone for a long time (it would be over 2,000 years old!), a church was built on the spot where they believe Jesus was born.
CampFaith.org & CampFaith.net