These are the facts concerning the birth of Jesus Christ: His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her fiancé, being a man of stern principle, decided to break the engagement but to do it quietly, as he didn’t want to publicly disgrace her. As he lay awake considering this, he fell into a dream, and saw an angel standing beside him. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “don’t hesitate to take Mary as your wife! For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a Son, and you shall name him Jesus (meaning ‘Savior’), for he will save his people from their sins. This will fulfill God’s message through his prophets ‘Listen! The virgin shall conceive a child! She shall give birth to a Son, and he shall be called “Emmanuel” (meaning “God is with us”).’” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel commanded and brought Mary home to be his wife, but she remained a virgin until her Son was born; and Joseph named him “Jesus.” Matthew 1:18-25
There was a man who lived in a small farming community. The man did not believe in the Christmas story. He thought the whole idea strange and illogical. But one wintery night, birds and church bells changed the man’s life forever. On a snowy Christmas Eve, this man observed birds thumping into his window apparently seeking refuge from the winter storm. He felt compassion for the birds and decided to help. The man knew his barn would be a safe refuge for his cold, feathered friends, but enlisting the birds’ cooperation became quite a challenge. With the barn doors wide open and lights burning, he first tried to lead the birds to safety. No luck. Then, he tried shooing them toward the door. Still, no luck. Finally, he placed breadcrumbs along the path to the barn, but he birds still refused to cooperate. He thought, “If only I could lead these lost creatures to safety.” At that very moment the church bells rang…and the man understood. He knew why God came to earth, and he understood the truth of the Christmas story. God became man so that He might lead us to salvation.