Christmas is the story of God’s unwavering love for us. There was no royal announcement or ticker tape parade on that first Christmas Day. God chose to enter this world in a chilly stable where farm animals dozed. Was His lowly birth in a stable the mistake of an overwhelmed innkeeper who turned away the King to be? Or, was His humble entry into the world a message for mankind? God was willing to be born in a Bethlehem barnyard to prove to us that there is no distance too far, no place too common, and no heart too hardened for His love and redemptive grace.
Doesn’t it seem like there are times when our life resembles a stable? Maybe it is even today! Perhaps people in your life are like lowing cows or stubborn donkeys, and most likely there are a few silly sheep you would love to trade in for angels singing “glory.” Many of us knock on the ‘innkeeper’s door’ only to find out that like Joseph we are too poor, too dusty, or too late – we just don’t make the cut. We try so hard to make the best of it, but the house is a mess, an old back injury still nags, the bills keep piling up and we spend sleepless nights wondering if God really has a plan for a person like us.
Well, praise God this week is full of the hope that we desperately need. This week when you ponder if it was a ‘mistake or a message’ you will find the answer in the Bethlehem stable:
For God so loved the world [YOU] that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
God became one of us, so that we could become one with Him. Because of Bethlehem, we are assured of God’s great love and His desire to fill us with peace, hope, and joy.
Right this very minute let us fashion our heart into a manger where He may “lay down His sweet head.” When we do, God will make every day Christmas for us. He will fill us with His Spirit to overflowing. And, like the star atop the tree, we will glow with His grace and reflect His Glory to those around us. No one leaves our presence without the gift of His grace!
“Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace to men of good will.”
Merry Christmas everyone!
(Grateful for Max Lucado’s Advent Bible Study, Because of Bethlehem, inspiring my Advent blog series.)