Malankara World

Christmas - The Birthday of Jesus

Devotional: Christ the Lord

by Ryan Duncan, Editor

And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. – Luke 2:7

The Christmas story is one of the most amazing moments in the Bible, probably rivaled only by the crucifixion. It's the story of Christ's birth, the moment when God took on human form. In the bright lights of the holiday season, it's easy to miss the true wonder and raw power of its message. That's why, when I came across a modern day retelling of the Christmas story, a whole new side of Christ's birth was revealed to me. The story went something like this,

"Once upon a time, somewhere in North Dakota, there lived a rather unremarkable young couple whose names were Joseph and Mary. Joseph was a tradesman who worked in a factory for minimum wage. Mary was his fiancée, a High School dropout who lived with him in a small apartment, and who was currently pregnant. By the worlds standards they were nothing special, but still, they were good people who loved God and loved each other.

One year, Joseph's company announced it was going to hold a conference in Chicago, and all employees were expected to attend. The couple couldn't afford to fly, so the two of them made the three day trip to Chicago in Joseph's run down old Ford, only to find on their arrival that all the hotels had been booked for the week. The two of them searched and searched, but even the smaller motels were full to bursting. Finally, one of the motel managers took pity on them.

'It ain't much,' he said, 'But if you're really desperate I can gets some blankets and a few inflatable mattresses, and the two of you can sleep in the garage next door.'

With no other alternative the couple accepted. That night, Mary went into labor. Joseph called for paramedics, but for some reason they never arrived, and Mary was forced to have her child in a garage with no medical attention and only Joseph to help her. When she finally gave birth, they wrapped the baby in the few blankets they had and lay him in an old cardboard box the manager had been using to recycle old newspapers.'

Strange, isn't it? I feel like we often romanticize the Christmas story. We imagine Christ's birth happened on a peaceful, starry night, in a warm and cozy stable surrounded by well-trained and cleanly washed animals. In reality, it was hard, painful, dirty, and depressing, but so much more incredible. The God of our universe, the Holy Being who created the earth, who set planets in motion, the God who existed before time itself began, stepped down from his heavenly throne so that he could be born as one of the lowest of beings, in one of the lowest of places. A sacrifice he made so that we may one day be reconciled to him. This Christmas season, take a moment to read the story of Jesus' birth and look at it with new eyes.

Further Reading

Read Luke 2

Source: Devotional

See Also:

A Worshipping Christmas
This Christmas, and every Christmas, we need to be reminded that Christ is the greatest gift and worship is the only proper response. After all, worship was the response of every actor in the very first Christmas drama.

From One Father to Another by Max Lucado
Dramatization of the thoughts of Joseph at Bethlehem - conversation/prayer with God.

The Essential Message of Christmas by Greg Laurie
We need to remember the essential message of Christmas, which is Immanuel—God is with us. And for the hurting person, the lonely person, the sorrowing person, this is the time of year to bring the gift of encouragement to them and say, "The message of Christmas is: God will be with you. God will help you. God will strengthen you."

The Truth of the Nativity
We can't know Jesus if we don't understand He is real. The story of His birth is no allegory. We dare not romanticize it or settle for a fanciful legend that renders the whole story meaningless. Mary and Joseph were real people. Their dilemma on finding no room at the inn surely was as frightening for them as it would be for you or me.

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