We know the story well. We remember this story each year at Christmas, but we should not let our familiarity cause us to lose wonder. We should always be humbled and amazed at the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. He was born in a stable and laid in a manger. Why did God allow His Son to have such a humble and obscure birth? Prophecies tell us that God had been planning this event for many years. The Lord knew it was coming and could have made reservations in the finest of hotels, or at least a Holiday Inn Express or the Hampton Inn. Instead Jesus received a welcome into the world with, “Sorry but there is no room in the Inn.”
We know God wasn’t caught off guard. He orchestrated all the circumstances. An angel appeared to Mary an announced she would conceive by the Spirit. Joseph had a dream calling him to take Mary as his wife, for the child in her womb was from God and he would be called Jesus – for he would save his people from their sins. The Lord also arranged all of this to happen during a census which would send this couple to Bethlehem – the place the prophecies declared where the Savior would be born.
God knew the plan. God arranged the plan. So why such a modest entry into the world? I believe there are several lessons to learn. In his birth, Jesus embraced poverty. Instead of being born in the finest hospital or hotel, he chose to be an outcast. He was not given a luxurious palace, instead his mother laid his head down in a feeding trough for animals. Jesus became poor for a reason – so that we could become rich. The Apostle Paul said, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 7:8-9). Jesus Christ stepped out of the riches of heaven and humbled himself to become a man. And as a man, he didn’t become a king, but he embraced human poverty to the fullest extent. In his poverty, Jesus was embracing the poverty of our human condition. He became poor, however, so that we might receive the riches of God’s mercy and grace. The person who comes to know and receive Jesus Christ is truly rich indeed.
In his birth, Jesus not only embraced poverty, but also humility. God allowed his son to be born in the humblest of circumstances. God found a dirty stable full of animals to welcome His Son into the world. The Lord announced the birth of his Son to a group of ordinary average shepherds in a field. Later some mystery magi from the east came bearing gifts. For the most part, the birth of Jesus was a quiet event. There were not throngs of people who came to celebrate him. It was quiet and modest, and yet God took those humble beginnings to do something that would change the world. God says he uses the humble things of the world to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27).
Jesus is attracted to humble things – humble places and humble hearts. God says he rejects the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Do you know that Jesus is still born in stables? He looks for humble hearts that will acknowledge their need of forgiveness and receive Him. Many, however will have no room for Jesus. They will reject him or ignore him leaving him no place in their lives. God is looking and longing for lives that will humbly welcome and receive the Son of God to take his rightful place as the King of their hearts.
Don’t shut the door of you heart and declare there is no room. Remember the hymn: “Joy to the World, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare him room…” Make room. Open your heart and make room for the Lord Jesus. Amen. And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at email@example.com or 912-634-2960.