One of my favorite traditions during Christmas comes in the form of two jobs. Christmas morning dawns early (often because I was too excited to sleep and would wake up everyone) and everyone sluggishly gathers around the Christmas tree and my parents assign two jobs: Santa and reader. Being Santa meant I got to rifle through the presents and hand them out to my family. I got to be part of the joy that comes with giving out gifts. Because getting gifts made people happy, and I was happy seeing them happy.

As the reader, there was a different kind of joy. Every year my family reads Luke 2:1-20 first before opening presents. Normally, I hate reading out loud, I hate the attention it calls to me, but this was special. As a child, Scripture never felt more alive to me than in those moments. The chaos of the world would quiet for just a moment to celebrate the birth of the Savior, to find joy in this miraculous birth.

There is so much joy and wonder found in Luke 2. Joy and wonder that carries through to today. In light of Christmas being just a few days away, read through Luke 2:1-20. I pray that as we stop and celebrate, we are reminded of the joy and wonder this season brings.

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, 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, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.