“She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger…”
The angel Gabriel had said that this baby of Mary’s would be great and be called the Son of the Most High. He would be given the throne of his father David, reigning over a kingdom that would never end! So given that expectation, did Mary ponder on the point God was trying to make? Did not someone so important deserve a better welcome?
The poet John Milton (b. 1608) pondered the “emptying” (PHILIPPIANS 2:7) of our Lord as he took the immeasurable step of leaving heaven to assume human flesh, “undressing all the way.”
That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze of Majesty,
Wherewith he wont at Heav’n’s high council-table,
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,
He laid aside, and here with us to be,
Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.
A census became the means God used to get Mary to the right town to give birth in (MICAH 5:2). The town was full of travelers, and the stable would have to do. Birth pains had started. Joseph helped as Mary pushed, and as the stable animals there looked on, the Savior of the world began to breathe in the very air he had created. Mary counted his ten tiny fingers on hands that would soon enough hold a hammer and later break a young boy’s bread into pieces in order to feed a hungry crowd of 5,000.
The thing was, he didn’t look like a king. He just looked like any ordinary baby. And then the shepherds showed up, stepping all over each other in excitement as they told what the angel had said, and the heavenly fireworks followed as the angels belted out “Glory to God.”
How encouraging to Mary and Joseph at that moment that God would send them shepherds (of all people!!!) to authenticate the birth of this child. Nothing was ordinary. And the angel was right. Nothing was impossible with God.
Be praying for Kenny Clark as he revisits the story of Jesus’ birth this coming Sunday morning. So many folks attend church this time of year as “the thing to do,” a nice Christmas tradition. May the truth of our Savior and the reason of his coming be received by many in the three services, so that salvation results, and faith springs up into eternal life.