I was reminded by one of my Bible studies that even we Christians sentimentalize the Christmas story. The promised Messiah, Savior, and Lord didn’t arrive in some stately fashion heralded through the halls of some pristine palace. Rather his mother Mary and earthly father Joseph traveled many miles over rough terrain to find that there was no room available to them.
So it was that the King of Kings was delivered in a dirty, smelly barnyard stable, more like a cave than all these clean wooden creches that we see displayed in the yards of Christmas Nativity Scenes of today. In some ways it is appropriate that the Spotless Lamb of God would be born like other sacrificial animals in a stable. Likewise, that this tiny babe that one day would proclaim Himself to be the Bread of Life would be laid in a feeding trough.
Truly, His humble beginnings as Immanuel (God with us) demonstrated how approachable He is. The first to hear of His birth were the lower class servants who were the shepherds whose very job it was to take care of the lambs. Can you imagine how startled they must have been when the darkness of the night was pierced by the heavenly host’s great light and proclamation that they could go and see the long awaited Savior. These often forgotten about people were now the First to know; to see; to be there in person. What an honor.
Jesus Himself was from a family that was relatively poor…. born in a borrowed manger, in a foreign land, growing up in Nazareth which was known for it’s less wealthy population (Jesus was from the “other side of the train tracks” or “in the Hood” ), He traveled all over talking to any-and-everyone, helping where He was needed and always teaching by example and through Scripture and life application stories. Healing all sorts of maladies, He truly Touched the leper as noone else even dared. After all of this Jesus was falsely accused, betrayed and killed as a criminal. Even in death He was buried in a borrowed grave….. which He didn’t need but the 3 days… Glory!!!
When I was reminded of this it made it easier not to get so down about not having anything special to give to family and friends for Christmas. It’s too bad that I can’t wrap appreciation and love and willingness to do something special for people so that they’d have something to open.
Today, friend, I thank God that it is not what I can give … rather it is what God has given. Therefore, my Christmas gift to you is this:
Do you have the Greatest Gift of All? If not, can I help you recieve it?
Merry Christmas to you and yours.