Many Christmas stories have been told, but there are none so interesting and thrilling as the one told about the birth of Jesus and the circumstances that led up to it. To read the Bible story concerning this wonderful child and the place of His birth is interesting to anyone merely as a story, but to those who have an experience through Christ this story becomes intensely interesting…
On account of the edict of Augustus it became necessary for Joseph and Mary to leave their village home and go on a journey of nearly a hundred miles in order to register in the proper place. They belonged to the ancient and royal town of Bethlehem in the country far to the south of their home. I fancy I see them now as they journeyed along the weary road till at last they reached the ascent that led to the gate of the town. On, on, they went, climbing the hill toward the place they had started. No doubt they had some anxieties, but thought of the place of rest when they would get to their journey’s end. But, alas, when they reached the inn there was no room for them there. Others who were drawn to Bethlehem on the same errand had preceded them and every available place was occupied. The only thing left for them was to repair to the barn in search of shelter if nothing more.
There in that stable that very night the Saviour was born. It had been foretold by the prophets that He would be born on this very spot. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel.” And that very night the heaven bells began to ring. Glad Christmas bells! Angels sang their wonderful songs. A multitude of the heavenly host sang the song that always seems so appropriate at Christmas time, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
If this great event called forth such sweet songs from the angels of heaven, should it be any wonder that a remembrance of this wonderful event should cause us to rejoice and laud and give God the glory? It seems to me that the very deepest sense of joy should be realized on Christmas morning, just to remember Him who was born one Christmas morning.
I remember Him now. My spirit is softened at the remembrance of that precious night and the little infant that was to be my Saviour—yes my own dear Saviour. The greatest personage that ever trod this earth made His entry on the stage of life so strangely, humbly and silently on that memorable night. That babe, oh, that babe, the Babe of Bethlehem!
He was unnoticed by the kings and great ones of earth. They were fast asleep in their palaces while the trio was unnoticed in the stable. But while these great ones slept on, the princes of heaven were aroused and broke the joyful news to the shepherds in the field who hastened to the spot to find everything just as the angels had described. Oh, those shepherds! I almost envy them now they were the first to see. I wonder why it could not have been me! But I leave the honor to them. And what an honor it was! Who can describe! Who would dare try!
Next to the shepherds were Simeon and Anna, two devout and intelligent students of the Scriptures. They lived close to the Lord and were looking for the Messiah. They knew Him as soon as they saw Him. The Spirit of prophecy fell upon them and they uttered wonderful words concerning His mission in the world. The aged Simeon had received a secret promise from the Lord that he should not die till he had seen the Messiah. When he had seen Him he was ready to die.
The shepherds and Simeon and Anna were only a short distance from Bethlehem, where the Saviour was born, but the great influence of the advent thrilled souls at a much greater distance. It was probably after Joseph and Mary had returned with the little child to Bethlehem after His presentation in the temple that he was visited by the Wise Men of the East. These men were attracted to the town of Bethlehem by a certain star that had appeared at the time of His birth. They came a long distance, but they searched till they found Him. They must have been sure of a successful journey because they prepared “Christmas Gifts” for Him and brought them along. So as soon as they found Him they fell down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and gave Him gifts of “gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
All these gathered around the precious young child—the shepherds with their simple wonder, Simeon and Anna with a holy reverence enriched by the treasured wisdom and piety of the centuries, and the Wise Men, with their gifts. But who will gather around Him this Christmas? His name will be remembered and spoken by millions… who know the full story…
The worshippers then were few— probably the number could be counted on the fingers of your two hands, but now there are a multitude of earth’s inhabitants that reverence His name on Christmas day. The thought of Christmas gives joy and happiness everywhere.
Who does not rejoice over a Saviour that was born? Who would be so dull that they would not want to join in the chorus of the song of the angels and say, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Let the children be gleeful and happy during Christmas time. Let the men and women rejoice and rise above sadness and gloom because a Savior is born.
An incident that would call the hosts of heaven down to earth to sing and rejoice surely ought to arouse the inhabitants of earth. He did not come to redeem angels but they sang and rejoiced at His birth. But He came to redeem fallen man and surely man should rejoice at the remembrance of His birth.
Yes, Jesus came to save! Let the voices of the millions of earth be heard on Christmas morning saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Would to God I could make this Christmas a merry Christmas for all…By: A.J. Tomlinson, Church of God Evangel December 20th, 1919 image credit: HERE