Welcome to our last week of the “Looking at a Stable Situation” series. This journey of personal reflection is appropriate all year-long, but especially at Christmas.
For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born. – John 7:42 NLT
The royal line had a prophetic reservation, but the accommodations were far from palatial.
Joseph searched the streets of Bethlehem for a warm and welcoming place. His promised bride, Mary, was about to give birth to the Messiah.
If you know the story, you know no such place was found.
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. – Luke 2:6-7 NIV
“Nothing available” is a phrase I usually want to avoid. Being out of options or out of time creates a somber reality.
But even when no one else has a place for us, we still have a place in God’s plan.
I imagine Joseph and Mary made the best of things. Entering a stable, they saw a manger — a food trough for horses and cattle. It was an unlikely cradle for a King, but it would have to do. Because…
God’s providence provides for His purpose even in our desperation.
During unstable times, the unlikely or unwanted can upend our perspective. But for Joseph and Mary, it wasn’t about the manger. They focused on Who was in it.
He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. – Colossians 1:17 NLT
And when our plans fall apart or our hearts search for answers, He holds us together too.
Now, back to the stable.
The smell of dirt, dung and hay filled the air with humility. Animals blended into the background of the most pivotal point in history — the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Lord of all creation became the smallest and most helpless among us so we could experience His power when we feel helpless, hurt or afraid. However,
When Jesus became an infant, it didn’t make Him any less God. It made His love more visible.
His first cries treated the world to the sound of “God is with us.” He wants us to be with Him too.
Among the first to accept His invitation were wise men who traveled from afar. They brought gifts symbolizing His priestly power (frankincense), His divine authority (gold) and His sacrificial death for our sins (myrrh). (See Matthew 2:1-12)
Our search for a Savior was done.
But our search for significance is often masked by the search for a title, applause or a number that announces our success.
However, while significance tries to settle in, holiday cheer can highlight what is missing from our lives. But it can also provide opportunities to see Christmas in a different Light — God is with us. He spoke into nothingness and created what we see and what we don’t. (See Genesis 1:1 and Hebrews 11:3)
He’s still speaking.
He is still moving in the midst of the seen and unseen. Nothing is too hard for Him and nothing escapes His notice.
Let’s be with Him this Christmas and every day of the year. What happened in the Bethlehem stable was a marvelous thing. And as we believe in Christ as Savior and Lord, we experience the miraculous.
Merry Christmas, my friend. Let’s celebrate Him in prayer:
Dear God, Thank You for sending your Son to the manger and to the Cross for me. My stability is in Christ alone. He holds all creation together. Surely, He holds all the pieces of my life. Whatever seems non-existent, nothing is too hard for You. Thank You for every marvelous and miraculous thing You will perform. In Jesus’ name, Amen.