The story is old and has been told well over one hundred zillion times. The story of an inn, a pregnant virgin, a stable, a manger, a star and a king. It’s a story that never grows old that Someone with a very creative mind and loving heart planned thousands of years ago when things didn’t work out in the garden. It’s an unlikely story with humble beginnings.. and what seemed like a sad ending instead ended miraculously.
Picture with me the scroll being unfolded in temple in Jerusalem about 740 B.C. The pharisees and Levites listen attentively as a portion of scripture is read:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isa 9:6-7 NIV
For thousands of years the Israelites expected their Messiah…. to come in kingly fashion – white horse, trumpet fanfare – massive display of power & majesty. But, instead of being born in a castle this king chose just an old stable for a delivery room and a manger for a bed … the humblest dwelling. Certainly, an unpretentious story like this didn’t appear to be the fulfillment of these words from Isaiah chapter 9. The king the Jews expected would be heralded on front page news, require trumpets, a large audience, a banquet, fireworks and honor guard. Surely, no Jew, no reporter would discover a king in the shape of a tiny new-born in a stall surrounded by animals and straw. And no one could imagine how this one life could change the world.
In the days of Caesar Augustus a decree was issued that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Joseph a member of the royal line had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, King David’s ancient home-journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth. He took with him Mary, his fiance, who was obviously pregnant by this time. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn. Luke 2:1-7 TLB
Instead of announcing this birth of the King to the prominent citizens and politicians of the land….the angels proclaimed it to a few lowly teenage Shepherds:
Imagine one night… you and your friends watching over your sheep, it’s dark and cold. Suddenly, you are engulfed by a bright light and see what could be a spirit or an angel (you’ve never seen one so, you can’t be sure)… fear overwhelms you as you hear the angel proclaim:
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Then, another company of heavenly host appear with the angel, They are praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-15
Rushing off to Bethlehem to see this thing that has happened you and the others find Mary and Joseph and the baby…..just like the angel said…. lying in a manger. After seeing Jesus you report the news to everyone about this child-King. People are amazed at the story.
- Are you still amazed?
- Do you still run to proclaim his miraculous birth IN you?
- Never forget, YOU are HIS living birth announcement!
- Make haste, my friend, there’s no time like RIGHT NOW!!
Somebody shout: “The Messiah is here!” Chilly