REJOICE! GOD IS HERE! It had been nine months since the baby was conceived and the journey to Bethlehem was very difficult. And there was no room for them in the Inn so they were sleeping in the stable. Emperor Augustus had issued a decree concerning registration so Joseph and Mary had made the long trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem as required. And the time came for the baby to be born (Luke 2:1-6). Here was a pregnant young lady about to give birth just as God had promised and directed. But these were no ordinary parents and this was no ordinary baby. As the Lord had said through the prophet, “Behold, the virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means God with us),” (Matthew 1:23 NIV).
There in the stable Jesus was born, the one who was to “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), and there he was cradled in a manger (the feeding box of animals).There was no room in the Inn for Jesus that night and for many people there still is no room in this world for Jesus and no room in their hearts. But for those like Mary and Joseph and the shepherds there is always room for Jesus and His presence always brings rejoicing and when Jesus is present God is always with us and He can and will save us from our sins.
When God came to earth that night so many years ago to rest in a manger with excited parents and inquisitive shepherds and glorious angels most people were asleep and unaware that things in the world had changed. The world would never be the same now that God was in the world in human flesh. Things had changed for the better. Salvation had come to mankind because God was now with us. But many in the world today are unaware that the baby that many are celebrating on this Christmas Eve is God taking on flesh so that we may be saved from our sins. As we rejoice in the birth of Jesus at this time of year may we help those around us who are still spiritually asleep or dead be made conscious of who Jesus really is…God with us. REJOICE! GOD IS HERE!