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DAY 22

CHRIST IS BORN IN A MANAGER

So Joseph went also, He went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea. That is where Bethlehem, the town of David, was. Joseph went there because he belonged to the family line of David. He went there with Mary to be listed. Mary was engaged to him. She was expecting a baby.  
-Luke 2:4-5

PAUSE: Can you count how many people are in your family? Caesar Augustus wanted to count all of the people living in the Roman world. So, Mary and Joseph took a trip to Bethlehem to be counted. God said this would happen. When God’s people were waiting for the Savior, He told them that out of Bethlehem would come the one who would be ruler of His people.

They traveled with a donkey, that Mary rode on, about 80 miles to Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph were very tired from their travels. It was a starry night and they wanted to find a place to rest. They found an Inn, but it was full already. There was no room for them so Mary and Joseph stayed in a stable where the animals slept. Mary and Joseph settled into the stable, thankful for a place to rest.

That night when it was still quiet, Mary had her baby. God’s wonderful gift had come to the world. The little baby that would change the world had finally arrived. Mary swaddled him in cloths so he would be warm. Joseph and Mary filled the animal’s feeding trough with soft hay and laid the baby in the manger.

Joseph and Mary named the boy Jesus. He is “Emmanuel”, which means “God with us.” He did not come as a mighty king in a castle, or a strong warrior with a fierce sword, but as a humble, helpless baby. The world would soon find out about Jesus. God had a wonderful plan for Him that involved us. God knew we needed someone to rescue us. Jesus was going to make a way for us to be close to God again. Jesus would grow up to die for our sins. He would die a death on a cross and be buried in a tomb. But three days later He would rise again and sin and death would be defeated.

DISCUSSION: Why would the God who orchestrated a world-wide census so that Mary and Joseph would go to Bethlehem, not have orchestrated an opening in the inn? Why did Jesus need to be born in a stable suitable for animals? How might 2 Corinthians 8:9 influence these answers when Paul says, “For your sake he (Jesus) became poor.” What relevance does this have for those following Jesus? Think about what Jesus says in John 15:20. “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecuted you.”

PRAY: Dear God, Thank You for your Son. Thank You that He saves me from my sin, and makes a way for me to be close to You again. I love You, Amen.

ACTIVITY: Advent tree & ornaments - If you don’t already have an ornament for today, craft or find an ornament that corresponds with today’s content - Christ is Born In a Manger. Then hang your twenty-second ornament on the tree.

FAMILY MEMORIES: Take time to identify the members of the nativity scene. Have your child tell you how each member played a special role on the day Jesus was born. Take a photo or video of your family activity or putting your 22nd ornament on your Advent tree. Post your pictures or videos to the facebook group or tag @summitparkchurch!