While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Two sentences, a couple of dozen words – that’s all Luke uses to describe the birth of the Son of God. None of what we would expect for the birth of a king. But perhaps that’s the point. And we can probably learn much from the words Luke did include.
This line really speaks to me: “She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”
Of the few details Luke shares, this is perhaps the most striking…and most important. For while it is unbelievable to most of us that no one made room for this expectant mother, this kind of thing happens all the time. Refugees, immigrants, the poor… Does it matter – to the world, to us – if they are pregnant or not, sick or not, hungry or not, the same race or not?
Jesus was born, not only like all of us, but particularly like the most vulnerable of us. God comes to redeem all, and God starts with those most in need. Jesus is found not in the capital city but in a backwoods town, not in the inn but in the stable, not sleeping on fine linens but laid in an ordinary manger with cloth.
I’ll never forget the moment my wife and I found out we were having a baby. Nine months later, not everything went the way we had planned or hoped they would have, but he was here. Out came this little brown eyed boy, my son. One of the greatest moments of my life.
My son isn’t Jesus, but when I look at the face of my son, I see Jesus. I am reminded of our Creator.
What if we started looking at people like that this Christmas season? Open our eyes God. Help us to see the broken, the lonely, and the hurting.
You came once in the form of a vulnerable and helpless child, delivered to an ordinary mother and father, in order to redeem the world. Come again and always into our hearts, that we may see that child in the face of all those in need.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.