Today’s reading is Luke 2.
Almost everything I grew up picturing about Jesus’s birth was wrong. Does this sound familiar to you? Because there was a census, Joseph takes his pregnant wife Mary on a solitary journey into their ancestral home arriving late in the evening. The local inn is already full, so they hole up in a nearby stable. Perhaps because of the trip or the stress or maybe just because it was time, Mary goes into labor that night. Almost none of that is how it would have happened. First, folks in that day rarely traveled alone for fear of bandits. Joseph and Mary would have been in a caravan of family making the exact same trip. The word translated “inn” doesn’t refer to a motel (this is not the same word as found in Luke 10:34-35 but rather in Luke 22:11 where it is translated “guest room”). Joseph and Mary were going to their ancestral home. They would have had all kinds of family there. In that culture, they wouldn’t be staying in a hotel, but with family. Mary didn’t go into labor the night they arrived. This wasn’t a day trip. This trip wasn’t “there and back again.” Considering the visit of the wise men in Matthew 2, it seems they essentially moved to Bethlehem. The text says, “While they were there, the time came for her to give birth.” They had been there for a time and she gave birth. This makes the issue of no room all the more poignant. This wasn’t an issue of getting to the hotel too late and there is a “no vacancy” sign. Rather, this is the picture of families opening their homes to one another, but when the baby comes, there is no room for that among all the guests staying in the guest room. If you are going to have a messy, screaming mother giving birth to a messy, crying baby, don’t do that in the guest room where the rest of the family is wanting to sleep and live. Put them out in the stable where they won’t bother anyone. It never really gets any better for Jesus. When we get to Luke 9:58, we will read Jesus saying, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” The fact is from His birth to His death, folks saw Jesus as an inconvenience. There was no room for Him. This leads to a question for us. Do we have room for Jesus? Are we willing to welcome Him in to our home, our heart, our lives, letting Him take up residence no matter how messy and inconvenient it becomes? Or will we send Him out to the stables? Do you have room for Jesus today?
Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 2.
A Word for Our Kids
Hey kids, what a great chapter for us to read this week. We see Jesus as an infant and a child. It’s hard enough to ever picture our parents being children. And we’ve seen pictures of them at our age. Do you ever think about Jesus being a child? Isn’t it amazing seeing the God of the universe in the package of a little baby? Hang on to this. In order to represent you on the cross, Jesus came into the world just like you have. He came as a baby. He grew up with parents telling Him what to do. He had siblings at home who were almost certainly annoying. What a great God we have to go through all of that for us, to save us. Hang on to Him.