“…and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.” – Luke 2:7
Read it again: pieces of cloth and a feeding trough? This is the New Century version of one of the most familiar scripture passages in the Bible. Not quite the way you recall the story? What happened to the soft, swaddling clothes and the quaint little manger? It’s easy for us to sanitize the reality of the situation, and thereby remove some of the irony. But the fact of the matter is the Savior of Mankind, the King of kings and Lord of lords, was wrapped in rags and set to rest in a dirty trough, used to feed cows.
Why would a mother allow this for her child? She had no choice; there was no other place for them to stay. Perhaps a better question to ask would be why our Heavenly Father would permit His Child to be treated in such a manner? Well, in addition to prophecy being fulfilled, maybe God knew that His Child had to experience humanity. He needed to know what it was like to be homeless, helpless, and in poverty. Later, He needed to understand hunger, the death of loved ones, persecution, and even death itself. Jesus needed to experience mankind, as He came to die for mankind.
Jesus experienced incredible highs and the devastating lows so that He could meet us where we are. No matter what you’ve been through, what baggage you carry, or scars you bear, Jesus understands. This Christmas, let Jesus heal your hearts and set you free from the pain and shame of sin. It’s the reason He was born. It’s the reason we celebrate. It’s the real meaning of Christmas!
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