Luke 2:33 NIV
“Life is like an exciting book, and every year starts a new chapter.” Unknown
As I was rereading the account of Jesus’ birth, I was caught up in the marvel of it all. The cast of characters surrounding the unfolding narrative are as varied as our neighbors. The account, as given by Luke, opens with the elderly couple Zechariah and Elizabeth. Zechariah, as a priest, was appointed to offer prayers. When the angel, Gabriel, tells him that he and his wife, barren and past child bearing age, were to have a child, Zechariah is stunned into silence by his own wavering of faith. We leave this amazing curiosity to find Mary, a young virgin girl, receiving a similar message about a miraculous conception—she was to be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and bear the Son of God. Joseph must have been surprised, and it was necessary for him to have a dream encounter with a messenger from God to grasp this marvelous news.
Things seem to settle back into a routine, when it is decreed that the Roman government wants to take a census, and Joseph must take his very pregnant wife to Bethlehem. Once they get to town, her labor pains increase, and Mary delivers the baby Jesus in a stable, wrapping him in cloths and laying him in the manger.
In the meantime, some shepherds are keeping their flocks when wonder of wonders, another angelic messenger declares the good news of great joy that the Savior of mankind has been born. After this surprise visit from the shepherds and their ponderous message, Mary and Joseph, seem to get some rest.
According to their religious law a few months later, they go to the temple in Jerusalem to consecrate their first born to God. Here they receive the marvelous prophecy from Simeon, who had waited upon God many years to see the day the Savior would be born.
Here are the words they marveled at:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”
Luke 2:29-32 NIV
Jesus, not even a year old, and so much had already happened surrounding his young life. The emotions must have been running all over for Mary and Joseph.
As I look back over this past year, I marvel at all the various moments I encountered, which were made possible by our Creator, and the Savior of the world—Jesus. I wonder what surprises He has in store for each of us this year. I want to become more and more filled with amazed curiosity, as He creates new life in me, and adds to this next chapter of my life. How about you?