2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[a] who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Glory in the Highest
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
And thus began the earthly life and ministry of the most character-filled man to ever walk the earth. What a wonderful day and life to celebrate. What a privilege to imitate Christ and build Christ-like character!
You did it!
You made it all the way through the 25-Day Countdown to a Character-Filled Christmas.
Way to go!
Today as you celebrate Christmas, with the joy and excitement that the day brings, may I encourage you to stop and celebrate one another as well? Take some time to remind one another of all the character qualities you counted down this past 25 days.
In addition to remembering the countdown, be sure to encourage the positive growth you have seen in each family member. Has one person developed a special measure of diligence or perseverance? Make sure they know you noticed their growth.
Has your family become more generous, or more service oriented, or more compassionate to others? Have you become more conformed to the image of Christ? Celebrate your changes and make concrete plans to continue the growth.
Enjoy a day of family, fun, and yes… tearing open packages. But don’t forget to spend time thanking God for the ultimate gift, the gift of His precious Son, Jesus Christ.
I’m confident you’ll have a joyful and peaceful day as you practice your 25 Days of Character!