She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:7
If you don’t know about God right now, He loves to build your faith in the most creative and sometimes challenging ways. You know the Christmas story: an angel comes and visits Mary and says she will be with child by the Holy Spirit. For nine months, she carries the Son of God. Her due dates is coming yet Rome gets greedy asking everyone to return to their hometown for a census so they can tax appropriately.
Mary and Joseph go to Joseph’s hometown, Bethlehem. This is where God appears to step out to lunch for a second. They go to Bethlehem and there is no room anywhere. No hotel. No guest lodge. No Airbnb. Nothing. Zilch! This is where I would begin questioning the whole angelic, Holy Spirit impregnation thing. Maybe a hallucination? A dream? Of course, it appears Joseph is pretty smart. He simply stays quiet.
I don’t know about you but if I were Mary impregnated with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Savior of the world, and the Messiah, I would assume when I arrive in Bethlehem my accommodations would be the Bethlehem Ritz Carlton. I would settle even for the Bethlehem Marriott or Hampton Inn. When they arrive, there is no room anywhere.
They then have to settle for an animal pen. It was possibly a cave which was carved out of a mountainside which was created for housing animals. Maybe it was a four post shelter just to cover the animals. I have seen some beautiful manger scenes but I don’t believe the barn Mary and Joseph were in looked nice at all.
Mary has baby Jesus and the Bible tells us she wrapped in in swaddling clothes (notice the similarity of his birth to his death) and laid him in a manger or what we call here in the south, a trough. Modern day belief tends to push us to thinking it was a few pieces of wood with some hay in it but in a recent trip to Israel, I had the opportunity to view a true manger or trough. It was not made out of wood. No, it was made out of rock. (see cover picture) The Rock slept on a rock.
Jesus is declared throughout the Bible as the Stone which the builders rejected. Peter called Him a choice stone and a living stone. Paul said He was a spiritual rock and declared to the Corinthians the rock is Jesus Christ.
Jesus is a steady and sturdy rock in whom we can build our lives. The Rock slept on a rock when He came into the world. It was not an ornate crib or a palatial pad. It was a watering and/or feeding trough; a feeding stall for beast of the fields. Humbly, He entered the world and came with nothing after stepping out of the riches of Heaven. Isaiah says there was nothing comely about Him. From his birth, there was nothing which would cause the whole world to turn upside down for His Kingdom.
He is our Jesus, our Rock. Fall on the rock today before the Rock falls on you. Accept the powerful yet humble Jesus into your life today. He is no longer a baby but the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Make Him Lord today.
Enjoy other Christmas writings . . .