As I carefully place the pieces of the Nativity set in it’s traditional place atop the desk, I try to find a quiet time to think about the characters and give thanks for the part that each played on that miraculous day. I place the stable along with Mary and Joseph on a gold scarf that came with the set. Of course, I recount how Mary was told by an angel that she would have a baby and she was to call him Jesus. Next to Mary I see poor Joseph who had his world turned upside down with the news that his wife-to-be was with child. I remember scripture that tells of the angel who came to calm his fears with news that this was God’s plan. Close by I place the shepherd with a lamb in his arms who gazes at the baby. Off at a distance the three wise men make their way with their gifts. The donkey, cow and sheep lay nearby to help make the scene complete. Lastly, I place the beautiful Baby Jesus in the manger over flowing with golden hay. My heart is greatly warmed at the sight of the sweet baby who came to be our savior. As I stand back and gaze at this beautiful scene, I am suddenly checked by the Lord. I began to see the scene in a different way.
The King of Kings was born in a stable, not the one that my Nativity set portrayed on it’s glimmering, gold scarf. It was a stinky place that animals stayed in and since the inn was full so probably was the stable. This weary couple may have shivered from the cold as the winds blew through the cracks of the rickety old barn. Mary and Joseph lay down, not on a bed of clean hay but probably a hard dirt floor that was hardly a place to give birth to a baby let alone our Savior. The manger was a dirty trough that was used to feed the livestock, how Mary must have winced at laying her precious baby there. The angels didn’t go to the religious leaders of that time but sang of the good news to lowly shepherds who quickly joined this scene, not smelling all that good either.
Why? He looks so good on my gold scarf, everyone is all cleaned up and looks so good I can practically hear “Silent Night” playing in the background. Why couldn’t he at least be born inside the inn? Why not a warm cradle to lay him in? I guess if the world had been the clean, perfect world that sat upon my gold scarf, there would have been no need for Him to come. If man was perfect, there would have been no need for a Savior. Jesus was born of a lowly maiden in a dirty stable and would die to save us from our dirty sins. As Mary wrapped her new born baby in swaddling clothes she wrapped God’s plan to save the world.
Don’t worry, my Nativity still sits on the gold scarf. I haven’t brought in stable “dirt” to make it look realistic but I will never look at it the same. This perfect baby came down to an imperfect world to die for our sins. Why? Because he loved us so!
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 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 room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:1-7 NIV)
Volunteer and Prayer Warrior with Answers2Prayer Ministries
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)