Could it really be? Joseph was told it would be so. Mary was told it would be so. the shepherds were told it would be so. But could it really be? Would God send His Son, the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Creator of all things, to be born in a manger filled with hay? Would His Son be willing to come, knowing before he came the torture and torment He would have to face.
Yes, He was the Son of God and could just decide to stay in heaven and let us all go to hell. We would have deserved that. We are rebellious people and want to fulfill our own lusts and desires moire than anything else. We have to respect for God or His ways. Jesus knew our hearts, wicked and full of disdain for God’s laws. Why would He want to come down here?
His love, His wonderful love compelled Him to come. Come as a little baby. No fanfare, no trumpets blaring, no royal announcement. A few shepherds were summoned from their fields and three wise men followed a star to His house. Other than that, no one knew He came. But when He arrived, God was with us. He still is today!
So idyllic. The manger, Joseph and Mary, baby in a manger, shepherds kneeling before Him, and a star shining high above the scene. It looks so serene and quiet. In actuality I am guessing it was anything but still or silent.
I can see more than just Mary and Joseph in that stable. People were streaming from all over the country to come to Bethlehem for the census. The inns of the day were probably full days before, and many and to find other shelter. A stable with hay would be a good place for that comfort. Their animals would be there. Donkey’s hee-hawing, cattle lowing, sheep bleating. Maybe even a mouse or two scurrying around screeching. The smell must have been awful with all those animals! The shepherds most likely brought their herd with them. They would not leave them defenseless.
Joseph and Mary had no choice, and our depiction of the scene is what we would like to believe. A silent night, filled with only the wonder of the newborn babe – the King of Kings wrapped in flesh.
Joseph had to be wondering what God was up to. After all, this was the Messiah born this day. God had told him so many months earlier. If this was not the case, Joseph would have let Mary go because she was pregnant and it was not his child. He believed the angels report. He believed it was a real event and not just a dream. He had to hold onto that at this time because it was all too strange.
Why was there no room in the inn? Couldn’t God have saved them a room? Why a lowly manger and hay for a bed? Could not God have had someone take them into their house where it was warm and cozy? Why did he choose them? They were just ordinary people with no ties to anyone important. Yes, they were descendants of David, but so were many other people. Why me?, he must have been asking.
God has a way of doing things that we don’t always understand. If you are asking God to work out your situation today, and you are doing all you can to follow Him and are not seeing what you expect to see, take heart. Think of Joseph and know that no matter how strange things look, God is at work carrying out His plan.
We all want the best for our children. Especially when they are born. We want a good facility with a clean room and a doctor with warm hands. We want to make sure everything is just right for that baby to be born. Our children were all born in this kind of environment, We were blessed to be able to get there in time and have the best care.
Mary and Joseph were not so fortunate. Joseph had to go to Bethlehem because of the census. His pregnant wife had to travel with him because the baby would be born before he would return. He wanted to see this baby because he knew it was not ordinary child. he was told he would be the Messiah, promised for centuries. Joseph wanted to make sure everything was perfect. So he loaded up the necessary things for the trip, put Mary on the donkey and set out on the 97 mile journey. It would probably take them 2 weeks to get there.
Once they arrived, Joseph dream of a perfect birth was shattered when they could not find a room at any of the inns in town. One innkeeper was nice enough to tell them they could bed down in a stable out back where the horses of other guests were kept. the stable was noisy, smelly and dirty. I can;t imagine having a child in such an environment, but this is all they had. We like to think it was the pristine setting depicted in this song. but it was not. Still, Jesus came in the most humble of settings.
My hearing can be terrible at times. My wife will be sitting 3 feet away and I won;t hear what she says to me. I am tuned into my computer, or the TV, or something else and just don’t catch what she said. Its not that she did not talk loud enough. She just did not get my attention first. Once she has my attention, I hear perfectly what she has to say.
This night, there was no doubt about what the shepherds herd that night. The great angelic host was loud and filled the sky with sound. The shrank on fear at first, but then the angel said they should not be afraid. They had good news of great joy. A Savior was born this night! The angel even told them they would find the baby in a manger in Bethlehem. With such an announcement how could they miss the message. They want immediately to that manger and worshiped the child.
At the same time, kings from far away saw a glowing star in the sky. They knew the ancient prophecies and immediately set out on a journey that would take them days, weeks to complete. But they were determined to get there. They knew what they had seen and would not let anyone stop them from greeting the Messiah.
How about you? Have you seen Him? Have you heard His call?