Allow us to draw near to you on that day in Bethlehem. Help us to feel the jostling of the crowd as Joseph led the donkey with his beloved aboard; knowing that while you were the Father, he was the man to care for your chosen and your son. May we know the worry on his face and in his heart as inn after inn they were turned away? The city was full. There was no room. How like it is today with the over shadowing of gifts, parties and food that we forget to take care of that which is eternal. Do we even notice?
Give us the opportunity, Lord, to be still, to experience that holy night. Permit us to put the noise of the city and the commotion of too many distractions aside and see the star that you set in the sky at creation. We take a deep breath and push our way through the crowd to follow the star and focus on that moment you pre-ordained to change the course of history as those in the City of David knew it.
It’s hard to push aside the distractions and find our way to the edge of town. No one really noticed our exit, our following that poor, tired family to the barn. Where are they going? Another over crowded building that stinks! Joseph, you can’t let the Savior of the world be born there! He is tired and has tried his earthly best to find a bed for his betrothed. Grant us this moment to feel his unworthiness. Does he realize his human efforts are all in your plan?
Oh, the stench of too many animals and not enough manpower to keep the guests room clean much less the barn. The first blow of air as the doors are open brings Joseph to almost puke, but he pushes the door open to allow for some fresh air as he makes space for Mary. He gingerly helps her off the donkey and to the pallet of a thin blanket and some hay.
Mary was not spared the pain of childbirth; but it didn’t matter. Scream all you want Mary, the animals will empathize and the people are too busy and noisy to notice. She takes a deep breath with the pain only to choke on the stench. Joseph wipes her sweat and then that of his own. His ordinary life is about to change for the extra-ordinary. The moment in time that will change the world and the world isn’t even paying attention.
Father, please pull us near in these next few hours and let us be there with you. For in the last scream of pain you pushed into this world just as promised. The baby that was fully God and fully human squeezed into this world and now wants to squeeze into our hearts. May we clear the clutter of our lives for Him?
Let the world stand still just this night, Lord, bring the peace, and the Savior into our hearts where He might live tonight and every day and night to follow. Breathe into our homes and lives the spirit of the miracle and wonder of Christmas. It is not for us to understand it all, but just accept with faith that extra-ordinary measure you took, using ordinary people, in an ordinary town one night – the most holy of nights.
My Friend and Reader,
Feel free to pass this post to someone you know and care about. Knowing Christmas for the Savior who came will be the best gift ever.
All the best,