by Desiree Bustamante
The Real Nativity Was Far From Regal, Yet Full of Love.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Ephesians 3:18-19 New Living Translation
Jesus’ birth is almost here, but not under the circumstances Mary was hoping for. She was certainly counting on her mother to coach her along for her first delivery. She planned to take him to the local temple to be circumcised. Instead, now she is on the back of a donkey, traveling over bumpy rocks and hills to get to Bethlehem, because a government decided there needed to be a census for tax purposes. This trip is painful and frightening. She is concerned about having her baby in the middle of the desert. Mary trusts God, but does she wonder what He is thinking, knowing she will give birth alone, with Joseph, in a strange city, very soon?
Joseph leads the donkey down the dusty, harsh, road. They have only traveled about 10 miles per day because Mary just can’t handle any more than that. He is a little worried as they approach Bethlehem, as he knows the baby will come soon and he will have to find a midwife or help her with the birth. Then what? They won’t be able to travel back to Nazareth for a while, not with a newborn. Will he be able to get temporary work to support them if his funds run out? Where will they live? He trusts God, but is confused at the ignoble beginnings of the Son of God who is to be the Promised One.
The baby Jesus was born in the least glamorous way possible. He was born in a barn filled with animals, wrapped in rags, on a night too noisy to get much sleep among thousands of people who knew nothing of His kingdom yet.
We marvel that anyone would leave their throne in a palace of gold and jewels, and all the power in the world, to become impoverished in a land whose people were oppressed and harassed by the Romans, to become a carpenter, to wash the dusty feet of those who ultimately betrayed Him, and die a convict’s death with our sins’ weight on His shoulders. Yet He did exactly that all for us, because of His deep love for us.
Contemplate that truth tonight, and tomorrow, as you celebrate the Savior’s birth.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO