“But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.” – Galatians 4:4-5.
Everyone loves baby Jesus. Even casual observers find it easy to warm up to this sweet little Jesus boy away in a manger — no crying He makes. It’s such a great story. Even to those who don’t believe — it’s a captivating and engaging tale. A poor girl visited by an angel; a miraculous pregnancy; an exhausting ride on a donkey to Bethlehem; no room in the inn; a baby born in a barn among sheep and cattle; a magnificent star; more angels; bewildered shepherds; and royal visitors from far away.
This was how God was controlling the world events crucial to the birth of Christ. It set everything in motion for what must have been a miserable trip physically, distressing for her to go far from home. In addition, she was far from her mother, far from her family, far from everybody who knew her and loved her and cared about her to have a baby on the road, as it were, in an obscure place. And remember, she was very young. Even if it wasn’t a tale of the divine, we would be intrigued by it. Unfortunately, that is as far as some of us ever get. We are just intrigued.
But none of this story is accidental. Every single detail was in the hand of Almighty God. And God still directs history and He still holds everything in His hand for His own purposes. So the Christmas story is so very much more than a story. It is God Himself, seated on His throne, yet sleeping in a straw bed; holding the planets in place, yet grasping Joseph’s finger. It is the Alpha and Omega, ungoverned by the dimensions of time and space, but confining himself to a specific moment in a dirty and uncomfortable place. It is the indescribable God becoming a son to a simple Jewish girl and a carpenter. Colossians 2:9 tells us “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.”
Now that is some story. And the best part is, it is a true story of love. As the Christmas season comes and goes this year, may hope be found in the truth of God’s word and the knowledge of His unchanging love for us every day of the year.
- With no room in the inn, what do you think Mary and Joseph might have felt?
- Do you think someone might have made room if they had known more about the child Mary was carrying?
- In what ways do we make room for Jesus? Have there been times in your own life when you failed to make room for Him?