About the author: Liz Todd has been a member of ZPC since 1987. She has served on the Board of Deacons as well as two terms as a ZPC Elder. She has also sung in the ZPC choir since its inception, taught adult Sunday school, and been a part of The Great Banquet. She states "My greatest achievement, of course, is that I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior some 42 years ago."
About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals where we are exploring traditional Advent themes of hope, joy, peace, and love. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc advent to 39970. Advent booklets are also available at the ZPC Welcome Center. We welcome your comments and questions each day.
TODAY'S SCRIPTURE: LUKE 2:1-20
As a child my favorite hymn was Away in a Manger. I probably did not know too many hymns at that young age, but this one stuck out to me. I would ask my mother during months other than December, “When are we going to sing that hymn again?” I now understand it was only sung at Christmas and not throughout the year. Yet the message of this birth carries us to the end of our lives on Earth and into our next life in heaven. We will be with him, surrounded by the love of God because of a baby in a manger.
This gift of God, sending us a baby, was the beginning of his physical act of love in the form of a man so we could understand. We know from Old Testament scripture that the world would receive a Messiah, a Savior who would save us from our sin. Now the time has come to start this “love walk” with our Messiah Jesus. Now, I understand that this baby was to become the answer to all the sins and hurts the world throws at us. We are to grow up in Christ just as he grew into a man, so he could save those who turned to him. It starts in Bethlehem beside the manger of the baby Jesus and ends at the cross on Calvary.
How interesting that the Shepherds were the first ones to visit and worship this child. Those who sacrificially looked after their sheep are an example of how Jesus lovingly and unconditionally becomes our shepherd. He rescues, comforts, leads, guides, teaches, and most of all loves us no matter our condition. There is no greater love than this.
WOW and backwards WOW! What a gift the world has received. This baby truly has come through the Father’s unconditional love to us, the sheep, who have lost their way. No other religion even mentions the word love, which we are given unconditionally, through this amazing birth.
Who can we invite to participate in this holy birth?
Thank you for this unfathomable gift of love that only requires us to say: “yes, I believe and accept this baby as my Savior.” Let us hurry to his manger, as the shepherds did, so we too can worship and wonder at his birth. May this Christmas bring great joy and love as we accept what you have given us in the Christ Child.