Advent Meditation for Kids - Day 24 - Great Joy, For All People
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (Luke 2:1-20 NASB)
Joseph and Mary traveled all the way to Bethelehem, Mary heavy with child. They probably walked the whole way. Maybe there was a donkey. The Bible doesn't say. But because of the decree of a Roman ruler, who also ruled over Israel, they were forced to make the long journey to the land of their ancestors. The town of David, the king of Israel, the land settled by Ephraim, great, great-grandson of Abraham, the home of Ruth and Boaz. They were forced to come here, the place all the promises had spoken of, for the promised child to be born.
They didn't have anywhere fancy to stay. There wasn't room for them in an inn or house. They stayed where the animals stayed. The great king who would draw all of the world back to God, would bring forgiveness of sins to his people, who was the light of the world, his first bed was a feeding trough for animals.
God, who always told Israel how much he cared about the poor, came as a poor child, to poor parents.
The first people he told about his coming were not kings, not rulers, not anyone important at all. They were shepherds. Men staying out in the dark taking care of their flocks, just as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had done, long ago.
But these shepherds were also descendants of Abraham. Do you think they knew about the promises, to Abraham and his descendants, the promises to them?
They probably did. They would have understood the importance of a baby being born in the town of David, the king. They would have known what all that meant.
They were terrified when they saw the angel, but the angel told them that he brought "Good news, of great joy, for all people." Not just important people, not even just the descendants of Abraham, but for all people. A savior has been born. The promise has been fulfilled. God is once again living with his people!
This child Jesus will grow up and be the promised blessing to the entire world.
Do you know how?
Day 23 - For All Nations
Day 25 - God Comes to His Temple Again