Luke 2: 7-20 ESV
And Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.
And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Today is often a busy day for parents; food to prepare, last minute wrapping, excited little people to keep busy. If at all possible, find time for a brisk walk in your favourite nature spot, to rid the wiggles from little bodies and rejuvenate older bodies!
This evening, just before bedtime, take your children outside to enjoy the wonder of the night-time sky. Remember the Magi who followed the most famous star of all to Bethlehem.
365 Starry Nights says this:
“Was there a real Christmas star, and if so, what was it? There have been many theories. Guy Otterwele has a nice discussion of the possibilities in his book The Astronomical Companion. Jesus was probably born sometime between 7 and 4 B.C. During this period a splendid candidate for the Star of Bethlehem was the conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars in February of 6 B.C. An equally dramatic grouping of the three planets occurs only once every 800 years. the prospect of the planets blazing and dancing together on the western horizon might have seemed an omen of a great event.”
Do try to find a few moments to write a memory from today, in your Family Advent Journal. It will be a treasure for years to come.
Thank you for joining me for my nature-themed advent calendar. If you would like some more ideas to carry you through Christmastide, Exploring Nature With Children has a whole chapter devoted to The Twelve Days Of Christmas.
May I take the opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas and a peaceful new year x