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Each year, we see depictions of the manger scene in various shapes and sizes. Some are wooden, others ceramic. Some are inflatable in a front yard, and others are small ornaments decorating a tree. Still others are performed by actors and actresses, occasionally with live animals and even a baby. Unfortunately, the plethora of images has often diminished how we view that moment.

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.” 
- Luke 2:10-11

Imagine back to that fateful night. Imagine a scared mother and father struggling to find any place to stay, even among the animals. Imagine the pain of the birth and the cries of excitement when they see their child’s face for the first time. Imagine the rush of adrenaline when the shepherds were frightened beyond belief at the sight of angels and then the calming peace that came with their message. Imagine them running to nearby Bethlehem while three wise men traveled from afar to follow the king’s star.

Can you picture it? Can you picture the excitement and anticipation? Can you picture the wonder of it all?

It is this sense of overwhelming joy that should fill our hearts whenever we see these manger scenes—a combination of fear at the thought of God coming to earth and then calming assurance at the message that He has come to save the world.

As we prepare for Christmas, let’s set our hearts to this moment, remembering the story of the birth of our Lord.

In the coming weeks, we will have the opportunity to turn through the pages of Scripture and join in the excitement of those saints as they met Jesus for the first time. We will read the story of Zechariah, who was going about his work when God broke in, or Mary, a simple young girl whom God had chosen for an incredible task. We will see individuals like Peter and the woman at the well who met Jesus during his earthly ministry whose lives were changed forever. And we will see those who encountered the risen Christ, both in Scripture and beyond, such as the women at the tomb, Paul, Augustine, and C. S. Lewis.

In each case, they met Jesus and adored Him.

As we enter the Advent Season, where is your heart? Can you remember when you first met Jesus? Can you recall the excitement of that day—the joy that arose from meeting the King? Can you join with the choirs that will be singing throughout the coming weeks, “O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord”?

Ask the Lord to meet you where you are at this moment and take you back to where you were as we get ready to greet Him once again this Christmas.


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