Jesus is born. It’s a story we’ve heard many times. I want you to read it again, and pretend this is the first time you read the story. There are many people walking around this planet who do not know Jesus, much less how he came to earth. These first few chapters of Luke are pivotal. There is so much wisdom that points to God’s perfect plan to save the world.
God became man, in the form of a little baby. He chose a young virgin betrothed to a man in the line of King David, to fulfill Scripture prophecies. He was born and placed in a manger. Aren’t mangers another word for animal feed trough? Our God was placed in a food bin? The lowliness of his birth is astounding.
There were no trumpets sounding a KING HAS BEEN BORN. There were no mid-wives rushing about to make sure that GOD had everything a newborn could possibly want. No, God slipped into the world quietly, almost without notice.
Have you ever thought about the trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem? Today there is a highway that connects the two towns, and it would take roughly two hours by car to travel the 156.4 kilometers (97 miles). It has projected the trip would have taken four days on foot. But Mary was 9 months pregnant!
Our reading isn’t clear if they traveled alone or in a group. It is likely Mary rode some of the way on a donkey, but the Bible doesn’t tell us that. The route most common between the two towns would cross through Samaria, and Samaritans were not on the best terms with Jews. Safety was probably a great concern on this journey.
It wasn’t easy. But they were obedient. Generally, folks would stay with relatives, but our account says there was “no lodging available to them.” Imagine traveling all that way. Before the days of phones to call ahead or websites to book your travel destination.
Our Lord was born quietly and placed in a manger.
Watch this short video and be drawn in to the beauty of the night. (Don’t let the arrival of the Magi distract you — we know that didn’t happen the first night.) Watch HERE.
What does that tell you about our God? He is not going to come bursting into our lives. He waits patiently for us to welcome him in. Have you welcomed God into your heart? Perhaps today is a day to ask him again, maybe imagine this fragile baby king, ask him to come reside in your heart.
Let’s pray. Father God I thank you for stripping yourself of your kingly position to put on flesh for me. To think you love me so much that you sent your Son in such a lowly, unassuming way. You fully experienced the human condition and stayed holy. What an example you have given to us. May I focus on your kingship and your majesty, despite how you downplayed your arrival on earth. I don’t need to feel unprepared to serve you because you will provide all that I need as I need it. I trust you and adore you, Christ the Lord. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.