During Advent and Christmas, we are featuring devotionals written by clergy of the Greater NJ Annual Conference of the UMC. For this week, we are focused on reflections on Luke 2:1-7, the story of Jesus’ birth.
1In those days Caesar Augustus declared that everyone throughout the empire should be enrolled in the tax lists. 2 This first enrollment occurred when Quirinius governed Syria. 3 Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. 4 Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. 5 He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.
A crowd gathers
a census, a festival
A man travels to be there
an expectant father, a teacher & prophet
Both from the house of David
The father travels with his wife
The teacher with his friends
While they were there, the time came
for her to deliver her child, for him to “eat this Passover with you before I suffer”
And she gave birth to her firstborn son
And he took a loaf of bread,
and when he had given thanks, he broke it
and gave it to his friends, saying,
“This is my body, which is given for you.”
She wrapped the baby in bands of cloth
Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt
and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him
and sent him back to Pilate.
And she laid the baby in a manger
At the place that is called The Skull, they crucified him there with criminals
There was no place for them in the inn.
The tomb was empty.
By the Rev. Emily Wilton
For Pondering & Prayer
Sometimes we struggle to think of the Christmas Story and the Easter Story as one of the same. They are both one long story. What would it look life for you today to draw a line between the two?
Prayer: Holy God, help us to remember that the Jesus of Christmas is also the Jesus of the resurrection. May that live in our very bones. Amen.