And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Why would God send His prized possession, the Savior of the world, to a stable? What was God thinking? Why wasn’t Jesus born in a palace? Wouldn’t that make more sense?
Maybe one reason is because the people who needed Jesus the most couldn’t get into a palace. You and I were not royal material. We had no access to the palace, so God sent His Son, the highest of the high, to reach you and me, the lowest of the low. God put Him in a lowly stable where shepherds and tentmakers were just as welcome as kings or wise men.
Right there, in the most common of places, a Savior came into the world.
He came to save us from sin and from ourselves. Our world was broken. Our lives were broken. We needed a Savior.
I heard about a father who was home alone with his five-year-old daughter while his wife went Christmas shopping. He had some things to do in his office, so he thought of a plan for her to entertain herself while he worked.
He took a map of the world and showed it to her. Then he cut it into a bunch of pieces, mixed it up, and told his daughter to put the world back together.
He thought it would entertain her for at least an hour. But instead, she came back in just a few minutes and said, “Daddy, I’m done. I put the whole world back together.” He walked out to see what she had done and was shocked to see the whole world was indeed put together.
He said, “Honey, how did you do that”
She said, “Well, Daddy, I noticed on the back of the map there was a man and a woman standing together. I knew if I could put the man and the woman back together, I could put the whole world back together.”
That’s what God did for us. He saw men and women whose lives were messed up and broken. He knew if He put them back together, He could put the world back together. And He sent us Jesus.
The invisible God became man and walked among us. Jesus provided everything we needed to have abundant and eternal life.
Jesus Christ was the perfect Christmas gift. Through Jesus’s birth, life, death, and resurrection, we have access to these four gifts:
1. Forgiveness. You really can be forgiven. If you repent of your sins and ask Jesus into your life, you will be forgiven. No matter how messed up and broken it may be, Jesus can put your life back together.
2. Renewal of your faith. You may have received Christ at some time in your life, but maybe you’re not as close to Him as you once were. Surrender yourself completely to Jesus and He will renew your faith and your heart.
3. Release of fear. Perfect love casts out all fear. God’s not saying that we have to love perfectly. He’s saying His love is perfect. When the perfect love of Jesus enters our hearts, it casts out every fear.
4. Restoration of relationships. Many people dread the holidays because of division and pain in relationships. Through Jesus, we can lose the hostility, bitterness, and anger. Let the Prince of Peace work through you to bring peace to your relationships.
I love the story behind the hymn, O Little Town of Bethelehem. In the 1800’s, Phillips Brooks rode a horse to a hill overlooking the village of Bethlehem. As he looked down on the town, he felt inspired and wrote the words to this song. The last verse is so powerful. Let’s make this our prayer:
O holy Child of Bethlehem descend to us, we pray.
Cast out our sin and enter in. Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell.
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.
Thank you, Jesus, for abiding with us, for healing our broken lives, and for putting the whole world back together.