The barn was probably like other barns – wood floor. There was the pungent smell of urine, dung, sheep and cattle. The ground is probably hard and the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor. There are some shepherds a bit perplexed at what they are seeing. Joseph is off to one side, his eyes are heavy. It’s been a tough few days, but Mary & the baby are safe. He has lots of questions, but not the energy to put of sleep that is over taking him.
Wide awake is Mary. My, how young she looks! Her head rests on the soft leather of Joseph’s saddle. The pain has been eclipsed by wonder. She looks into the face of the baby. Her son. Her Lord. His Majesty. At this point in human history, the human being who best understands who God is and what He is doing is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. She can’t take her eyes off him. Somehow Mary knows she is holding God.
Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter. Angels watch as Mary changed God’s diaper! (God Came Near by Max Lucado – my favorite read at Christmas!)
1At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5 He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. (Luke 2:1-7 NLT)
If I’m not careful, I will miss Him again.
I’m so thankful He came in such an unusual way.
I’m so thankful He did what He came to do – overcome sin & death.
I’m so thankful He opened access to God Himself for regular people like me.
I’m so grateful that God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son…
Merry Christmas from my heart and my family to your heart and your family!