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stable2

And He was born in a humble stable

Luke 2

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Beth-lehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

The wonder of the Incarnation took place in a humble stable with the warmth of the animals and visits by the shepherds. There was no room in the inn.  Is there room in our hearts?

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bells21

Bells ringing may summon us to worship on a Sunday morning or to pause in our daily activities and acknowledge his presence within us.

Bells announce the good news.

We can hear the wonder of God in their sound, Music is a part of our prayer, our worship, our celebration.  How easily memories rise up at the sound of a Christmas carol or a favorite hymn!

Bells are –

The publicity of God. In France people say, “God is advertising Himself.”

  1. L. Bruckberger

The music bordering nearest heaven.

Charles Lamb

The voice of the church.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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candle1We light a candle to chase away the darkness.   Its light reminds us that Christ is the light of the world and we are to let our light be a witness to Him.

Psalm 18:28   For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

John 8:12  Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 3:19  And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Luke 15:8   Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

Luke 11:

3 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

Matthew 5

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 

Acts 13:47  For so hath the Lord commanded us (apostles), saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

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angel1

The word ‘angel’ means messenger, a messenger from God to man.  Its wings signify a divine mission.  They announced to Mary her special role, sang glad tidings to the shepherds on that first Christmas and warned Joseph of danger.  And they watch over us today.

Psalm 91:11 He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Luke 2

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Beth-lehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

Luke 1:5-38; Matthew 1:19-25, 2:13-15, 19-21, 28:1-8

 

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denmatk1

The humble ass carried Christ’s mother to Bethlehem and Christ Himself on the Flight to Egypt and in the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

Let us carry Him in our hearts throughout our day.

“The ox, a sacrificial animal of the Jews, is a symbol of Christ, the true sacrifice. Let its patience and strength inspire us to patiently bear (our) yoke while laboring in silence for the good of others.

“The ass and ox … the humblest and least of the animal creation were present when Jesus was born and they recognized Him as the Son of God.”

Isaiah 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib.’”

Can we say as much?

Jesus put a high priority in caring for these animals, scolding those who would not have him heal on the Sabbath.

 Luke 13:14-16: Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?

How could we doubt his care for us?!

Matthew 21:1-7

Zechariah 9:9

Isaiah 1:2,3

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CAMEL10

“The camel came to symbolize temperance, probably because the camel could go without drinking for such long periods of time.  The camel as the means of travel in the Orient was not only beast of burden but the sign of royalty and dignity.  The trappings with which he was harnessed were often rich and costly. Camel’s hair is also associated with John the Baptist.”

Mark 1:6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair. . .

But our favorite image perhaps is of three camels bringing the Magi to worship the baby Jesus.

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seeds2

Seed can be compared to the Word of God.

Matthew 13

3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it. 

21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Also Matthew 13:24-32

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