Devotion: Matthew 1:18-25

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

One of my favorite memories of treasured Christmas traditions was when my family would all gather around the Christmas tree after Christmas dinner.  My Daddy would open his Bible and read the Christmas Story to us.  Often he read from Luke, but many times he also read from the text that we are referencing today.

Daddy began this tradition when I was very young, but I remember the last time he shared it was the Christmas before he passed away.  What a happy memory!  He taught me the importance of always stressing what Christmas was truly about.

It is so important that we share these traditions with our loved ones.  I know what a hectic time Christmas can be.  Many of us attend one of our Christmas Eve services where the scripture will be read.  This year I encourage you & your family to share the true meaning of Christmas by taking time to read the Scripture together in your homes on Christmas Day.  It will be a memory you will cherish always.

Thank you, Father, for blessing me with an earthly father that taught me the true meaning of Christmas.

Faith V. Hammond