The Birth of Jesus Christ
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
I love the story of the birth of Jesus, because it is a beautiful mess. In the above verse we learn that Marry was betrothed (engaged) to Joseph. I know engagement was a little different back then, but not that different. Picture this scene for a moment. It’s an ultraconservative society and there is a teenager pregnant, not married, and the person she is engaged to isn’t the father of her unborn child. In fact, she claims that God is the father of her child. When she goes into labor there is “no place for them in the inn.” So she gives birth to Emmanuel (God with us) in a stable and lays the Christ child in a feeding troth (manger) as His bed. A room filled with animals and animal “stuff” is the birth place of God’s son.
This is not the place you would predict a holy God to choose to have his son born. But that’s why I love my God. My God is a God of redemption. He takes broken, messy, dirty situations and people and redeems them. He uses a teenage unmarried girl to give birth to His Son. He is born in the most humble manner possible. He spends his life working as a carpenter. Then he ministers to the outcast, the brokenhearted, the sick, and the sinners of His day. Only to die the death of a criminal on the cross. What a beautiful mess. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Remember this Christmas that you don’t have to be perfect to have a relationship with Jesus. God was able to take one of the most horrific acts in all of history, the murder of his son, and change it into one of the most beautiful events in all of human history. He took a murder and used it to show forgiveness. Know God loves you and wants to walk with you through this beautiful mess we call life.