“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:6-7
For 400 years God was silent. At the end of this dark season for God’s people, His voice rang out through the cry of a newborn baby. Jesus, born in the stable of an inn. An inn because His time here was temporary just like our time in a hotel. A stable because it represented the most humble of circumstances for our most humble King. Mary and Joseph were the only humans present in that stable but they were surrounded with a host of angelic onlookers and God Almighty as He watched His only Son transition from His heavenly home to become the light of this world. The first humans He created had repeatedly chosen sin and destruction over the love He provided. They had chosen darkness and set their desires on the things of this earth instead of focusing on the things of Heaven. But this Child would be different. He WAS God incarnate sent to this earth as an example of how we can live IN this world but not be OF this world. He would provide guidance and instruction on the ways of God because He IS the truth and the light. He would show everyone that when God is present, darkness must flee.
This child, Jesus, provided hope. He was to be the symbol of hope to not only the Jews, but also the Gentiles. Divine revelation had been confined to one group of people but Jesus’ birth and death removed all boundaries so that this hope could spread to all people. He provided the answer to our emptiness. Christ came as the perfect and complete earthbound communication of God to man-the very embodiment of “Love divine, all loves excelling.” Fullness, completeness, wholeness can be found only in Him. He proved that even in the darkest of times, God’s love shines through and that nothing is impossible to Him.
Jesus came to give us life. He was born in Bethlehem which means “the house of bread,” a proper place for the One who is the Bread of Life to be born, the Bread that came down from Heaven. Just like the manna for the Israelites, He provided strength and life. After a short time on this earth, His body was broken and life temporarily taken away so that ours could be restored.
On this Christmas morning take time to reflect on what this day truly represents. A day like no other, when God sent His only Son to this earth for us. He wrapped up forgiveness, grace, and mercy in human skin and presented this gift to those He loves more deeply than any mind can imagine. You and me. Even though God knew that His Son would be rejected by most, He deemed those of us who choose to believe as worthy of the price His Son would pay. The greatest gift you will ever receive cost you nothing and yet gained for you eternal life.
Merry Christmas! Steve and I, along with all of the church staff, love all of you more than you will ever know.
Lenett Thrasher, Pastor’s Wife