Pastor Jason recently led a bible study on the Christmas Story, and reminded us of Joseph and Mary’s circumstances when having the baby.
It wasn’t a cozy, clean place Jesus was born in. The scripture says that Jesus was laid in a manger, which is the trough from which animals eat. That means there was probably slobber and bits of leftover food where baby Jesus was. There were probably animal droppings as well, since most cows aren't known for bathroom etiquette.
Having recently witnessed my sister in the hospital with her baby girl, it really made me think of how different Jesus’ birth was compared with hers. My sister and her husband would have been mortified to see animal feces scattered throughout the hospital room. On the contrary, hands were washed, utensils were sterilized, and the floor kept bare and shiny. Besides that, there were a whole team of doctors and nurses to check vitals, administer painkillers, and help with the delivery process.
Mary had none of that.
Could you imagine her? Tired and dirty and caked with baby aftermath? I’m not trying to be gross; I’m just trying to grasp what Mary had to endure.
What do you think we’d be like if we were in their shoes? Wouldn’t we tempted to think, “God, this is Your Son. Surely, You have a nice, clean place so we can recuperate safely. Surely, this—this filthy thing isn’t where You want Your Chosen One to be born.”
And yet, God’s will was the filth. God’s will was for the innkeeper to have no room.
Why? I’m not sure. I can’t help but think that God chose these insignificant beginnings of Jesus so that He would be able to identify with us all. God didn’t spare His Son from any suffering. He threw Him into it.
And I step back and go, “What a God. What a Savior that rules the world with His Word, yet is willing to be dirty, to be poor, to be insignificant.”
He’s a strange God, isn’t He?
Strange and beautiful.