"...laid Him in a manger..." Luke 2:7 (NIV)
From the time of His birth, the world told Jesus they had no room for Him. The innkeeper, though, did show a measure of hospitality to the young expecting couple by offering them lodging in the stable beneath the dwelling. He couldn't help it if his inn was fully occupied by those complying with Caesar's decree of a census, requiring citizens to return to their city of origin.
As it happened, Mary came to full term and delivered The Light of the World there in that dark barn, where she wrapped Him in cloths and made a bassinet from a feeding trough. It can't be too hard to imagine the odors and sounds that surrounded the newborn and His young parents. It did not matter, though, for in the course of prophecy and history, God's story had been written and was being played out by the very ones He had selected to bring to life the promise of redemption and reconciliation.
A stable may not seem like the perfect place for a newborn. However, that one assignment kept the new infant from the touches and breath of curious well-wishers, other children, and those who may be carrying a host of contagious illnesses.
Within the stable were the animals used to transport Joseph and Mary, as well as other animals that had made the trek to Bethlehem:
- Perhaps a young donkey that one day would carry the Savior through the streets of Jerusalem while crowds would proclaim, "Hosanna to the King". (John 12:13)
- Could there be a covey of doves in the eaves of this stable whose later generations may be represented by God's leading one to descend from the sky and light upon the head of Jesus? (Luke 3:22)
- Did the baby hear the bleat of a lamb that was to be prepared for either a feast or to be sacrificially presented for the sins of the family in the Jerusalem temple just five miles away? (John 1:29)
Sin separates us from the One Whose light can have no fellowship with darkness. Will you walk in His light? It's found in the One the apostle John described as life that became The Light to all. (John 1:4) Do you have room in your heart for the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world? Invite Him in your heart today.