|"Joseph Seeks Lodging" by James Tissot (1886-94)|
TO CHEW ON: "And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloth, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7
As I reread this familiar story today, I am struck by the lowliness of the characters and their situations.
Joseph and Mary were the most ordinary citizens, at the beck and call of Caesar Augustus. They had no choice but to obey the census summons and travel at this most inconvenient time.
The place of Jesus' birth—a feed trough—has been the basis of many a Christmas play. Though the Bible description is beautifully understated, we can't help but imagine the crowded Bethlehem streets, see Joseph and Mary trekking from one inn to another, hear the desperation in Joseph's voice as Mary's labor pains accelerate: "Please. We'll take anything."
The angels announce Jesus' birth to shepherds, a rough lot and scorned by the who's-who in Jewish society.
God in His wisdom arrived in such a way that the humblest, poorest, and most despised found themselves in His spotlight. It reminds me of a poem by my friend Charlie. Let's ponder this as we celebrate Jesus' birth today.
|(Used with permission.)|
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for revealing Yourself first to the poorest. None of us is too low or insignificant for You to notice and love. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.