Have you ever really stopped to think about what it was really like in the stable that day so long ago in Bethlehem? We read about it all the time. We see nativity sets all the time. I’ve noticed that some nativity sets display a scene far removed from what I imagine was true on the night Jesus was born. They are way too . . . “fancy.” I believe that night in Bethlehem was anything but fancy. Mary and Joseph were simple people and they had traveled a long way. Bethlehem was not yet famous for the the birthplace of our Savior and it probably would have been a place least likely to be chosen for such a majestic birth. It was a barn unfit for a king and yet, God chose that simple barn to introduce to the world His only Son. Glory was birthed in a barn.
Today, Anne from Dayspring shares her thoughts on the subject with us. I think her post is one of the most beautiful Christmas posts I’ve read this year about the birth of Jesus and how that miracle so long ago applies to our lives today.
When Glory Was Birthed in a Barn
by Anne at Dayspring
“And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:6-7 ESV
There, Salvation was nestled among animal food. And, we wonder over God, this God who stepped off His throne and into human skin, laying Himself into a mere animal trough. Glory Himself was birthed into baby cheeks and tiny hands by a young, scandal-surrounded girl.
How is it that we find the King of all in such a place? How is it that the Almighty God, the great I Am, bends Himself into a world of labor pains and dirty animals?
And, it’s at times like this that I find myself both awestruck and inexpressibly moved by the story of Jesus’ birth. Of course, it’s a familiar one, and most of us can see the story line from miles away.
But what consistently moves my heart? It’s the common. Each year, I find myself analyzing the details, trying to imagine what it must have felt like to witness the great and awesome God stepping into the everydays of some simple folks.
Because, it’s natural for us to attach the concepts of splendor and power and mind-blowing radiance to our God. We exalt Him. We praise Him for the attributes we can hardly understand – His sovereign ways, His unsearchable wisdom, His unfailing love. He stands far above us, and we marvel, speechless at His majesty.
Therefore, it is not without near bewilderment that we hold the magnificence of the King of kings in one hand, and the everyday, common details of the Christmas story in the other. And then, we bring the two concepts together, to mix in perfect, mind-blowing union.
Suddenly, we see with fresh eyes a young girl, average in every way, from Nazareth. An unsuspecting young man about to be married. A dusty manger. A group of shepherds caring for their herd, as they have every other long night.
How could they have known? And, friends, how could we know? How could we know at what point that routine aspect of our lives is actually showing up on God’s holy radar, just about at the point of a great intersection of mundane and miraculous?
Clearly, He is a God who magnifies the mundane in order to accomplish His miracles. This is the God we exalt. This is the barn-born baby known as Jesus, who embraced humble obedience in the common life in order to accomplish extraordinary glory, eternally.
Maybe that can be true of me. Maybe that can be true of you.
This Christmas, may we peer more intently into that average world tucked into a familiar story. Maybe we’ll even see a reflection of our own average world, but with new expectancy and hope.
Let’s anticipate the coming birth of our glorious Savior. And, let’s remember, though He be far above us, the miracle of Christmas is that He has come near to us, into our world, into our routine life.
He is both Majesty and a God who presses into our days, our everydays. And, He whispers Life into those dusty, disgraced, and dull places – and we are never, ever the same.
Looking for more Christ-centered devotionals this Christmas season? Check out these articles: Hope for a Difficult Christmas Season and Finding Rest in the Christmas Rush. Also, take a moment to send an inspirational Scripture-filled message to a friend our loved one this season with a free, shareable Ecard.
About Anne Dahlhauser