It's almost Christmas time- your very first! It is going to be one of the best Christmases for all of us since you're here with us. I want to tell you a story. . . it's not about Santa or the Grinch or even that little guy from the movie with the leg lamp (ask your Daddy about that one). It's about Jesus.
A long, long time ago when the world was groaning in a pain and sin, not unlike today actually, God sent a message to a young girl named Mary. The message was that she would become pregnant and have a son and he would be called Jesus which means "he saves." Now this was not news that made the morning papers. It was not news that one would find on CNN or MSNBC or even Fox. This was news that was meant for the poor and lowly, it was news that threatened those in power. It was controversial and yet at the same time it was joyous, hopeful, and dangerous too.
Mary was not even married yet, which in her day was an absolute scandal, not like today where no one bats an eyelash about such situations. However, in Mary's day she could have stoned to death for being pregnant out of marriage so this was very serious. She was betrothed, that means she was promised to someone for marriage. His name was Joseph and he was older than her. It took an angel to come to him to convince him not to just let her go, to leave her in shame and in danger, but that angel convinced him that this child was indeed God's child. This child was the promised One of Israel. So Joseph took Mary and married her and the child was born far away from home in a town called Bethlehem because the couple had business there that had to be tended to.
The danger was not over though, Rose. Jesus was not born in a nice, sterile hospital with a gift shop like you were. Oh no, he was born in a stable. You know what that is, right? A barn! (If you ever hear your mama say, "Rose, were you born in a barn?" You can always tell her, "No, but Jesus our Savior was!") Jesus' delivery was a dangerous situation. He could have died out there in that strange town in that barn full of animals. But God protected him because he was to be the One to save his people from sin, death and the power of the devil. Joseph then had a dream which told him that the danger was far from over. . . he was to take Mary and Jesus and get out of town and go to the country of Egypt to wait out the danger. The King called Herod was on a rampage, he wanted that baby king to be killed so he killed every baby he could put his hands on. Horrific isn't it? But Jesus was spared thanks to divine intervention.
There is more to the story, of course, but we get to that in due time. For now I just wanted you to know the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus. He is the reason, because through his life, death and resurrection Christ has given us everything that is important! He has given us a relationship with the Creator, salvation from our sins and life eternal when we pass forward.
I can't wait to see you again! Remember I love you and God loves you!
Merry Christmas Sweetie,