I became a great aunt last week. I love to tease my nephews that I’ve tried to be a good aunt – but now I’ve been promoted and am great. It’s a delight. She arrived right on time in a nice clean and warm environment. Her arrival was marked by good health for mom and baby, but we were grateful that all the medical advancements were available.
With all our pretty decorations and traditions at Christmas, it’s easy to romanticize the arrival of Jesus. A baby is always a joyous event. But there was no clean hospital room, or even a clean blanket. He arrived in a stable, most likely a sheep cave. It seems the sheep were out in the field with the shepherds, but you can bet the sheep left some reminders all around. Can you imagine the stench and the flies? Everything you touch is dirty. This is where Jesus arrived to be with us. Why did He choose to come to the dirtiest place imaginable?
We have a God who loves to communicate truth in pictures. The King of the Universe amazingly wants to be with us. The contrast of leaving heaven for a sheep sty gives us a physical picture. But it also gives a spiritual picture of where He lives today. With all my good intentions and attempt at good works, my heart looked like a sheep sty when Jesus moved in. Without Him, it still would.
Thank you, Jesus, for coming into this world to be with me. There is not a more costly gift.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. Luke 2:11-12