Hope for All: A Christmas Story (Part 3)
Good morning from Westminster, MD!
Over the past two weeks we have journeyed through the Christmas Story and seen how God chose ordinary people to play extraordinary roles in His redemption plan. We have seen how Jesus came from people just like you and I. However, the stories of Mary and the shepherds are not the only evidence of this truth.
It happened it a town called Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph were there to register for the census that had been initiated by the Romans, the current rulers of that part of the world. They were living in Nazareth, a small town in Galilee, at the time, but everyone was required to go to the town of their family so they made the journey, despite the fact that Mary was nine months pregnant. It was in Bethlehem that life changed forever. “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 manager, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:6-7, NIV 1984) Jesus, the savior of the world, was born that day, but most of the world did not seem to know or care. In fact, despite Mary being pregnant, the story tells us that they could not find a normal room in an inn due to the number of people in town to register. Instead, Jesus was born in a place made to house animals and placed in a feeding trough. When Jesus came to the world, he came as a normal child and was born in humble surroundings.
While most people are familiar with this story it is incredible to think about how God decided make His entrance. Jesus easily could have come down to earth on a cloud and announced his arrival. He also could have been born into an important family and wrapped in a prince’s robe at his birth instead of cloths. Either of those options would have been more expected. God has a different plan. When Jesus came to earth, he arrived as a normal child and was born in a forgettable place. Instead of coming as the king He is, he came in a way that was accessible to even the least of these. God wanted everyone to know that the Christmas Story is a story of hope for all.
As we move closer to Christmas, we should find great hope in this. God not only used normal people to accomplish incredible things in the Christmas Story, but also decided to show up in the same way you and I do, as a baby. As this baby grew up, He touched the lives of many normal and forgotten people and continues to today. This Christmas I hope you reflect on this story. Just like Jesus came to earth in a way that he was accessible to all, He continues to be accessible to all and desires a relationship with each of us. Just like that seemingly normal baby grew up to be the Savior of the World, he wants to take our normal lives and change them forever. That is the hope found in Christmas.
There is a part of the Christmas Story that hits a little closer to home. We will explore that next week. Merry Christmas!
– James Belt