Many times we picture Christmas as a nativity set or a movie, or even a Christmas card. Everything looks perfect. Everything in place. Their clothes are almost shining or dry cleaned at the least. Do not glamorize Christmas. Here is the real story….
The government told everyone to go to where they were born to pay taxes so Joe and Mary (who was very pregnant at the time) had to get on the donkey express and ride and stop…and walk… with her husband ….for miles and miles (approximately 90 miles). No hotels. No restaurants. NO AIR CONDITIONING!!!
The BIBLE doesn’t say Mary rode a donkey, but they were poor and you know what a pregnant woman would tell her husband if going on a long journey….(just sayin’ ).
Once they get to Bethlehem, exhausted from a lonnng journey, the (Holiday..pun intended) Inn is full. No rooms available. The Inn Keeper puts them (a Tired Pregnant Woman) in a BARN….a place not fit for humans…just animals. Now, have you ever been to a petting zoo? The sights, the SMELLS…..
No bed to lay on. No doctor or nurse. Certainly not the AdventHealth Maternity Suites experience…No…. Mary gets to give birth to her first child, JESUS THE SON OF GOD, in a smelly, sticky, stinky, uncomfortable barn. (Have you felt hay?). May I point out, Mary was a virgin …giving birth. (Think about that). Pain. Sweat. Messy.
(Editor’s note: I figure if man can do artificial insemination, I know GOD can make it happen supernaturally.)
I was with my wife during delivery for all 4 of my sons. She went into the hospital all put together…makeup, etc..but when in labor, the makeup was gone….hair was no longer in place… Picture yelling in pain, and I almost lost an arm (yes feel sorry for me…LOL) as I held my wife’s hand or as she put a vice grip on my arm, so imagine Joseph…Joe has to be sweating and in pain if he goes near her….
In this real world with the sweat, pain, exhaustion, blood, stink, overlooked and born in a place for animals, JESUS – THE KING OF KINGS is born. NOT like a hallmark movie set, but into real life struggle and hardship HE chose to come and be born.
This is the BEAUTY of CHRISTMAS!! GREAT NEWS FOR US!!! Do you see?
We often hide from GOD or don’t want to express our struggles (maybe GOD is too busy with everyone else in this world, or my struggle is to small for HIM to care, or we just don’t think of HIM). Regardless of what you have thought in the past, take heart…have some hope today! JESUS didn’t hide from our mess or avoid it…no, often GOD is born…shows up in our struggles to SAVE US because HE LOVES US!!!
An Angel told Joseph “You shall call HIS NAME JESUS, for HE will save HIS People from their sins.”
THE WORD says “To as many as receive HIM (JESUS), to them HE gives the power to become sons of GOD.”
Ask GOD to come into your life, into your struggle today. HE knows what you are going through, but HE won’t interfere or intervene unless YOU invite HIM in.
JESUS was born to die for YOU! Trust JESUS and ask HIM to be your LORD and KING today. Let HIM in.
Pray with me please: “LORD JESUS, Thank YOU for coming to this crazy world…coming for me, to save me. Please come into my life, my struggles, my pain..into me to live.
I receive YOU as my LORD and KING. I chose to make room for YOU in my life. Please forgive me for all my sins and save me.
Thank YOU I don’t have to hide, but I can come to YOU in prayer. Take my life and make something beautiful out of it.
Thank YOU FATHER for sending JESUS for me! In JESUS Name, Amen (So be it).
Written by: Pastor Gary Hellender