Luke 2:1-7 (ESV)
2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Heavenly Father, we see pretty ceramic and wood Nativity sets and stained glass windows and imagine the birth of Christ as a beautiful glorious event. It was beautiful and glorious because the Child who was born was Your Son, come to earth to save our sins. But He gave up all the glories of Heaven to be born in a dirty, smelly barn filled with smelly, noisy animals. And the only place to lay the precious Babe was in the animals’ feed trough on a bed of hay. How much you love us to go through this for our individual salvation! Help us to love You as You love us and to understand and appreciate the sacrifices made for our sake. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.