Jesus’ first coming was promised to God’s people thousands of years before Jesus was born. In the same way, though it’s been 2,000 years since Jesus and the apostles affirmed Jesus’ second coming: he will return. God will fulfill his promise, but he is patient toward us, not wishing that any of us should perish, but that we would all believe in Jesus and repent from our sins.
You know about the first Christmas. You know that Christmas fulfilled God’s promise from the Old Testament. You know that a virgin woman named Mary was betrothed to a young man named Joseph. You know that before they married, before they consummated their union, the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would conceive a baby from the Holy Spirit, a baby named Jesus.
Joseph and a pregnant Mary traveled from their town, Nazareth, to register for a census at Joseph’s ancestral home in Bethlehem. While they were there, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Then the angel Gabriel and thousands of angels appeared to shepherds near Bethlehem, announcing Jesus’ birth and praising God for the good news. The shepherds visited Bethlehem to see Jesus. They found the Messiah lying in a manger—and they rejoiced.