Two simple but profound verses add to our Christmas Story today.
Luke 2: 6-7 “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 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.”
What do we learn about Mary and Joseph? First and foremost they made it to Bethlehem. That 90 mile journey accomplished, they looked for a place to stay. There were no places available so an innkeeper allowed them to stay in his stable. I have visited the place thought to be where Jesus was born and it is a cave in the side of the mountain, cozy and sheltered. When you consider who visited them that first night, the shepherds, it is a perfect setting with easy access to those coming from the fields. We also see that Mary gave birth with just Joseph’s help. I’m sure as there were no women there to assist her or scripture would have told us. A birth is beautiful but messy and stress filled. Alone in a strange place, this must have taken great courage and determination to see this night through for both Mary and Joseph. Scripture does not give us additional details except to say that her time had come and she delivered the baby and wrapped him in cloths. Providentially, there was a manger available to use as a crib.
What do we learn about God? God protected them on the journey. God provided a place of shelter for them to stay that was warm and safe when there were no rooms anywhere. God watched over them and there were no complications or problems mentioned in the birth so we can know that there were none. God provided what they needed in a place that was accessible to those who would first come to see and worship His new born son. God is Sovereign over all things that happen in our lives. God is our great protector and provider. Just like Mary and Joseph, we can trust in God to be all those things for us.
Where do you need to trust God today? Are you facing a long journey of your own? Do you think there will be perils on this trip? Are you needing to stay someplace and you are concerned about the availability of room? Take your concerns to God and pre-pray the situation. Let God know of your concerns and worries. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us “ Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Take you faith in hand and put them in Jesus. He loves and cares for you. Then proceed with a prayerful heart knowing the truth of Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
This is a photograph I took of the manger area. We gathered and sang Silent Night. It was very moving.