The word “nativity” is defined as the process or circumstances of being born. Christmas is Sunday so I want us to look at the process and circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth, and build our own nativity.
Matthew 1 highlights Joseph’s role in the birth of Jesus. While he is sometimes the forgotten man of Christmas, we know he was a carpenter betrothed to Mary. He was busy preparing for the wedding and building place for them to live, when he got the unexpected news, the heartbreak of his life. Mary was pregnant! He is in shock, hurt, disappointed, devastated, and angry! How could she do this to him? He knew it was not his baby! It would be the scandalous talk of the town. He was planning to privately call the wedding off when God spoke to Joseph in a dream (Matt. 1:20-21).
Joseph just wanted to be married, have his own wife, have children, and a son named after him, but it did not happen the way he had always planned. He married a wife already with-child. He became an adoptive father. Joseph and Mary were the ones God trusted with His only son, Jesus. Joseph was committed to God, to Mary, and to Jesus. He worked hard, provided for his family, loved his wife, was a good father to Jesus, took his family to church, and is a great model and example for all men today!
Mary is just an ordinary teenage girl, growing up in a small town, dreaming like all little girls of her wedding day. All of a sudden an angel appeared. Mary was the first to doubt the virgin birth! Luke 1:34 says, “‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’” She doubted and she questioned, but she believed God by faith.
When Mary found out that she would be the mother of the Messiah, her response was a song of praise. “My soul magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46). When we think about Christmas, Jesus coming down from heaven to live inside of us, you can’t help but praise Him. Just like Mary had Jesus living inside of her, if you are saved, you have Jesus living inside of you! You may be filled with disappointment, hurt, bitterness, or anger, but you can have Jesus living inside of you. The doctor may have said you have cancer inside of you, you may feel lonely inside, but you can have Jesus inside of you!
Being the earthly parents of Jesus was not easy. It meant damage to their reputations and danger to their very lives. God is still looking for human vessels He can use. Will you let Him use you?
Matthew 1:23 says, “‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” Wherever God has placed you, Jesus is there. Wherever you find yourself this Christmas, Jesus is there. Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Hebrews 13:5 says, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
The Nativity is ultimately about Jesus, Immanuel, God with us! What was the purpose? Matthew 1:21 says, “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Jesus is the baby born to die for the sins of the world. Those tiny little hands would have nails driven through them. Those baby feet would one day walk up Mount Calvary to take our place. His sweet head would one day have a crown of thorns beaten into his brow… and He did all that for you. Take some time this Christmas to reflect on all that His birth means for you.