Day 25 of Christmas Nightlight Readings: Luke Ch. 2
Through all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we often forget the true reason for the Christmas season: the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The most well known telling of the nativity is Luke 2, with the announcement of the census issued by Caesar Augustus in 8 BC, so all the land of the Roman Empire could be taxed. Joseph and his new pregnant wife, then had to travel to the place of his birth, Bethlehem, to be counted in the census. Since everyone was on the road, traveling back to the place of their birth, there was no room for Joseph and Mary in the local inns. The only place available to stay the night was a stable, more than likely a cleft in a rock which would have been made into a livestock shelter. It was there that Mary brought God's Son into the world.
Meanwhile, in a field outside of Bethlehem, shepherds were guarding their sheep at night. Then a blessed sight descended upon them and angels appeared announcing the Messiah's birth, saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men." The shepherds then rushed to the stable to find the birth of Christ, praising God. From there they went around sharing with everyone the birth of the Messiah.
“To study history is to study the motives, the opinions, and the passions of men in order to know all the successes, the initiatives and the detours, and finally all the illusions that they make known to the mind and the surprises that they make the heart feel. In a word, it is to learn to known oneself in others.”—Jean Mabillon, 15th c. Benedictine scholar.