Christmas Eve. The day we have set as the evening before the birth of the Messiah. The day there was no room or a good place to have a baby. There was no available lodging, and all they found was a stable. This stable was not an ideal solution for this young family, not a solution that any mom or dad would choose for their child. But tonight, a child would be born, and His name would be Emmanuel, which means God with us.
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”Matthew 1:23
Not all situations are easy, and we fumble in the dark, trying to find a place or a purpose. We don’t always know how things will work out, and sometimes we think we made a wrong turn. Yet for me, Christ has been born in my heart, a light shining in the darkness. God knows my going and coming and is familiar with my ways.
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.”Psalm 139:1-3 NKJV
Jesus was not born in an ideal place or situation, yet it was the right time and place, according to God. The scriptures say Jesus was born in the fullness of time, the time was right, and the child was born.
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”Galatians 4:4-5
And now He comes to us at just the right time and place. He came to me, a place unsuitable for a king, a messy stable, yet He came to save me from my sins and make His home with me.
Today He still shows up in the most unlikely places and difficult situations. He has never left me alone and will never let you or me down.
He brought a new kingdom into this world. Not a kingdom as we have known but a kingdom of love. This kingdom may seem small, like a seed, yet it grows. A new hope arises in our hearts.
The child was born of humble means, just as Christ was born in our hearts through faith. It may seem impossible, and we may seem unlikely and unsuitable for a king, yet that is the mystery, Christ in us the hope of glory.
“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”Colossians 1:27
In that manger, a baby was born, and it was just the beginning. Only a small audience of shepherds came to see, but today millions around the world stop what they are doing and notice this “babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And now, for those who have put their hope in Christ, today is just the beginning of something extraordinary.
Praise be to God. You have loved me with an everlasting love.